By Sherman Farralone, Quilt staff
DATELINE: COHASSET STREET
Continuing its role as trend-setter for Southern California, Canoga Park has taken aim at — and perhaps solved — the housing shortage that bedevils the sprawling metropolis that is the Los Angeles area.
Following a rare emergency meeting of the Canoga Park Friendly Neighborhood Council (CPFNC) on Tuesday, a resolution was put forth to approve a pilot program whereby new homes will be built directly on the street.
“With such a limited supply of viable real estate and its corresponding skyrocketing cost, it just makes sense to use land already available — public roads,” says CPFNC Vice Chaircommissioner of Housing and Houses Philbert Cheung.
“It’s an idea that just makes sense,” Cheung says. “Across the greater LA area, people are living on the streets in greater number than ever. Some roads in Woodland Hills are starting to look like 1980s KOA campgrounds with all the 30-year-old RVs. So instead of forcing these folks to push their broken-down Winnebagos down the block every few days, why not just move them into permanent housing where they already are anyway?”
|Home, Home on the Road: Canoga Park's first three street-houses are already under|
construction on Cohasset Street at Jordan, in the tight-knit Jordasset neighborhood.
While the project will result in narrow one-lane roads that would negatively impact traffic enormously, some say doing so would actually help to acclimate the Canoga Park / Woodland Hills community to the total gridlock coming to the area once the nearby Rocketdyne site is developed into a proposed 4,000+ apartment/condo sprawling mini-megacity.
Creating sturdy, subterranean foundations for these street-homes wouldn’t be a problem, either, Cheung explains. “With L.A. roads being in such dismal shape and never, ever to be repaired despite how many new taxes people foolishly vote for, in many areas you need only kick away the chunks of broken pavement with your foot to get to virgin topsoil, ready for easy excavation.”
The measure passed nearly unanimously 17 to 0, with the one uncast vote belonging to CPFNC Supervisor of Roads and Roadways Bernice Knudsen. “I hoped to be there for the vote but there was a Coachmen Cadet parked in front of my house and I couldn’t get out of my driveway.”