May 1st, 2008 LeilaLevi

greenroof plans

(click image for larger)

The history is very long on this greenroof project. I had a long expensive process of getting my immediate neighbors to sign off on the greenroof and had our agreement filed in court as a formal agreement.

I have been working with student teachers from the local universities with our local high school to create a whole learning project around this greenroof. Ultimately I want to create a project that illustrates what can be done for sustainability and a better quality of living. We want to include a small greenhouse, solar panels, cistern to collect water run-off, and an area one could enjoy being outside in a park like environment that is safe in the middle of a very dense city area.

If we are successful with this project, I want to document it as part of the process and then use it and the lesson plans, to apply for grants to do more greenroofs in Venice with teachers, first responders, and seniors. I would love to see Venice on the map for the beach and greenroofs!

I need a toilet because I saved a student’s life in 1984 and I left disabled enough to find this a necessity.

I spoke with a gentleman by the name of James Murez in April 2008, and he said that:

  • I need to know the height of my building from the street to the front middle of the building.
  • I am under dual jurisdiction, City and Coastal in the North Venice Area, 3-B, page 17.
  • I can be 35 feet high, with a varied roof line meaning I can go 40 feet high, with a 5 foot set-back.

I am met with the Chair of this committee, Challis MacPherson at the beginning of May, and she is letting me know whom to talk to next. She suggested that I become involved in the Venice Garden Tour once the project is completed. I love that idea!

I want to thank both of these professionals, Jim and Challis.
Andres, my architect, went to:
Coastal Commission at downtown City Hall

Debbie Lawrence, AICP
Community Planning Bureau
200 N. Spring Street, # 621
Tel. (213) 978-3034

Coastal Commission at Long Beach

Chuck Posner – refered by Al Padilla
Inspector for the North Venice area
Tel. (562) 590-5071

They both informed him that we can exceed the maximum allowable height of 30′-0″ by 10%, that is another 3′-0″ maximum. The use of trellis or any other structure is not allowed and a modification request will not have a change for approval. Only allowed structure is the access to the roof.

We only made a preliminary presentation, with the sketch we have, to the West Los Angeles Zoning Department and they sent us to City Planning downtown LA and from there to Coastal Long Beach.

If we are to file this project for a building permit we will need to prepare all documents, including structural, to submit for plan check. This work will take approximately 3-4 weeks and plan check is running approx. 4-6 weeks.

Then there have been a long series of many years of contact with Bill Rosendahl’s office where they suggested I make an appointment with them to troubleshoot the project. They said they can help arrange that appointment if I need, but that still has not happened. I ended with Alex who sent me to Whitney Blumenfield. I left a message.

Then they suggested that I make an appointment with Mr. Syed Ali, who could perform what we call a preliminary plan check analysis and then she can address those issues.

David L. Lara, Chief Case Management, Neighborhoods, & Government Services Division, Department of Building and Safety (LADBS)

221 N. Figueroa St. / Ste. 180
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Mail Stop # 115
Phone direct: (213) 482-6717
Fax: (213) 482-6874
Cell / Pager: (213) 792-6060
Gen. #: (213) 482-6864
City Hall Office phone: (213) 978-6742
City Hall Office fax: (213) 978-6754
E-mail: and
Chair: Challis Macpherson
Members: Dennis Hathaway, and a Vacancy,
Robert Aronson, and James Murez,
Jed Pauker, and Maury Ruano,
Ruthie Seroussi, and Arnold Springer

Regularly scheduled meetings:

1st and 4th Wednesday at
Westminster Elementary School,
1010 Abbot Kinney Ave (Auditorium)
or Beyond Burouque 681 Venice Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291

A neighbor suggested I speak with:

pugh & scarpa
David Hertz AIA Architects
2908 Colorado Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404
I left messages, but no one returned my calls.

And I went from several calls to Alex Fay

200 North Spring St. RM. 415, LA, CA 90012

Who sent me to Whitney Blumenfield who has not yet returned my calls from a couple of weeks ago.

Helpful links

May 1st, 2008 LeilaLevi

Here are some files that you may be interested in that are related to the greenroof project. You will need either Adobe Reader or Acrobat (download) or Microsoft Word to open these documents.



California Symposium Presentation compressed.pdf



Green Roof Final Report.pdf

Green Roof Resource Guide_Los_Angeles.pdf





Mayor_Public Works.doc