Contra Costa Times, CA
Jan 6 2010


Councilman Krekorian decisive in first steps

DEBUT: Krekorian begins job on City Council with a review of Valley
Village apartment complex.
By Rick Orlov, Staff Writer


In his first day on the job, City Councilman Paul Krekorian took steps
Wednesday to review a Planning Commission decision on a proposed
Valley Village apartment complex that drew community anger during his
recent campaign.

Krekorian, who started work as the council's first Armenian-American
on the day of Armenian Christmas, said he wanted a review of the
decision that gave a bonus density for a 146-unit project at 11933
Magnolia Blvd. The bonus density was allowed under Senate Bill 1818, a
state planning and development law approved in 2004.

Krekorian asked that the City Council consider overriding the decision.

"It should be the policy of this City Council that incentives
requested pursuant to SB 1818 ... should only be granted where
applicants clearly demonstrate that they are necessary," Krekorian
said in his motion.

Krekorian said he wanted the City Council to hold a hearing on the
proposal and decide whether the 35 additional units should be granted.

SB 1818 allows developers to add units to a project if the space is
set aside for low-income housing.

With Krekorian's addition, this is the first time in six months the
City Council has had a full complement of 15 members. He got a baptism
under fire, with the council going into a more than two-hour closed
door discussion on the pension problems facing the city.

Krekorian's seat at the City Council horseshoe was between its newest
member, Councilman Paul Koretz, and the man called the historian of
the council, Councilman Tom LaBonge.
All three represent portions of the San Fernando Valley.

"I am very honored to be here and I am mindful of the work ahead of
us," Krekorian said. "And, as the first Armenian-American to serve on
the council, the city of my birthplace and of my parents, is a great
honor. My grandparents immigrated here more than 100 years ago and
were able to live the American Dream."

Several council members, some of whom had served with him in the state
Legislature, greeted Krekorian with hugs, while audience members who
had supported him also welcomed him.

Lisa Sarkin of the Studio City Neighborhood Council said residents
were looking forward to his work.

"We welcome him and recognize the challenges he faces in filling a
seat that had been vacant six months and the budget crisis the city
faces," Sarkin said. "But, we believe with Paul in there we will see a
return to quality of life issues."

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress