A group of over 50 SoMar homeowners worked diligently for about three years to install alley gates on a north – south alley between McLaughlin and EastBoulevard.
This, like a lot of alleys, was a magnet for illegal dumping and a haven for petty crime. The old Los Angeles City program to financially aid neighbors in closing alleys has long past so these neighbors had to raise all the funds from themselves. City bureaucracy added an insurance requirement to the permit which complicated matters but was eventually removed with the help of Councilman Bill Rosendahl. The Councilman also helped with the permit fees. Neighbor Jim Davidson, who spearheaded the closure effort, designed the gates from city Engineering Department specs. The gates cost came in approximately half of what a general contractor might have charged. This is an example of citizens banding together to solve a problem instead of
expecting the government to do it. Working with the Councilman’s office to break the bureaucratic logjam created a successful outcome for a truly grass roots effort. The city is scheduled to clean the alley one more time before property owners take over maintenance. Installation is expected to be complete this week and a neighborhood party is planned to celebrate sometime soon.