Friday, April 1, 2011

In-N-Out Burger Sponsors Chatsworth St. Tree Planting


Photo Courtesy Pat Walsh
In-N-Out Burger, the family-owned, California-based restaurant chain has funded the planting of several of its signature palm trees along the center median of Chatsworth Street.

Company spokesman Ennis Hout explained to GigaGranadaHills that the trees are just one of a string of civic beautification projects the chain plans to undertake in Southern California, in order to "give back to local communities while simultaneously promoting our brand."

The chain has planted the trees at no cost to the city.

Response to the project has overwhelmingly positive. Initially, Neighborhood Council members balked at the choice of tree, as Palm trees provide no shade whatsoever and could be seen as disharmonious with the existing landscape. At a pubic hearing on the matter, one resident suggested that Deodar trees, like those along White Oak Avenue that are now a historic landmark, would have been a more appropriate choice, not only because of their historic significance to the area but also because of the "global cooling" effects their shade would contribute. Another suggested the company go with a California native, such as Coast Live Oak, which also would provide shade. But In-N-Out officials won over naysayers, not only with a promise of picking up the tab for the planting of the decorative trees, but also by assuring locals that Palm trees would add sophistication to the area by making Granada Hills more closely resemble Hollywood.

47 comments:

  1. I'm all for anyone that wants to help beautify our area. Good for In'n'Out!

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  2. who's going to take care of the maintenance?

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  3. According to a member of the Granada Hills Business Improvement District (BID), the trees and the median improvements are all funded with BID money. IN-N-Out is not a member of BID.

    Richard Fisk
    GH Chamber of Commerce

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  4. Linda:

    You had me until Ennis Hout. And happy April 2st to you to.

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  5. Yeah, amazing Photoshop job on those pictures, huh?

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  6. I wish it were photoshop. Those trees are UGLY and completely out of place on that median. And they just put new plants in about 18 months ago. Sigh, I would have much preferred native sycamore or oaks. I now HATE in-n-out.

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  7. Love the trees!!! Gives it that updated feeling like diwn down Pasadena!

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  8. The article says that In-N-Out funded the planting of the trees. "Anonomous" said "According to a member of the Granada Hills Business Improvement District (BID), the trees and the median improvements are all funded with BID money. IN-N-Out is not a member of BID." Who really paid for the trees???

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  9. Note the date on the original post.

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  10. Proof once again that we are surrounded by gullible idiots!

    But I really DO wish it was true as it would be a major upgrade for that poor little rundown strip...

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  11. LJ and Anonymous: The trees ARE planted on Chatsworth Street. Did you two think it was a joke?

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  12. How the hell is it photoshopped? Are you guys blind?

    The trees ARE there like the person above me stated and they're really nice - it's a major upgrade to how Chatsworth St. was before.

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  13. Dude, if you can't recognize a picture of a pineapple on a stick Photoshopped onto Chatsworth Street, you're the one that's blind. You seriously think someone is going to plant those kinds of trees right in the middle of a street?

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  14. Chatsworth Street truly represents the ideal of the American Dream and personally I am grateful for the boost and gift of these lovely trees for our neighborhood. Applause to In-N-Out for their generous donation!

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  15. LJ: You really should stop the sarcastic comments and drive down Chatsworth Street. You may be a freelance writer, but you obviously don't do a lot of research before writing comments.

    Now I'd like to know, as somebody asked above, who really paid for the trees? In-N-Out or the Granada Hills Business Improvement District?

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  16. Click on this link for the answer to your question: http://youtu.be/oHg5SJYRHA0

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  17. LJ you're just being dumb now.
    Please get your facts straight before posting.

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  18. Oops, sorry, that WAS dumb of me -- I gave you the wrong URL. Here's the right one: http://youtu.be/356mYvrAY18

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  19. 200 foot coastal redwoods would have been more appropriate. Palms are not indigenous to that part of town.

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  20. The Granada Hills Business Improvement District and loyal commerical property stakeholders are responsible for the Chatsworth Street Beautification Project and recently planted palm trees.......Comments received have been overwhelmingly positive and the addition of two additional bookend street monuments.at Encinio and Zelzah....landscape shrubbery and ground cover will tie in a look consistent with the approved City of LA ''Spanish Colonial'' architectural guidlines for our community.......
    Coupled with last year's donation of the Pergola Triangle....the street apperance has been greatly improved in apperance and in ''sense of place''....

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  21. The trees are hideous. Pineapple on a stubby stick indeed.

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  22. As President of the Granada Hills Chamber of Commerce in 1983.....a handful of volunteers raised the funds and personally planted the Ficus Netita trees on the Chatsworth Street Commrerical Corridor thus providing a beautiful streetscape apperance for residents and business customers to enjoy a quarter of century later.....There are literally many types of palm trees on Chatsworth Street between Balboa and Encino and that are also placed in the Granada Town Center shopping center just east of Zelzah ......The BID committe selection of the date palms on the Medians look majestic and dramatic....Some may disagree and that is okay....but the received response has been very very positive.....Once the project is complete....I am confident that it will really help define and enhance an aging shopping area that holds much promise in the future...
    Sincerely,
    John Ciccarelli
    Granada HILLS improvement District

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  23. The palm trees seem to me to be a striking symbol of Granada Hills lack of a coherent vision.

    Palm trees aren't even really trees. Technically, they're overgrown grasses.

    One BID member whom I spoke to referred to Granada Hills as a "Mayberry." Did Mayberry have date palms?

    Another commenter referred to a Spanish Colonial look. That's a great idea, but at present we don't have a lot of red tile roofs on Chatsworth Street.

    White Oak's majestic and dramatic Deodars -- designated as a historic monument -- create an inviting, shady lane. And the ficus trees, I agree, make for a lovely "main street" feel. Two more points for Mayberry.

    Palm trees evoke, for most, one of two things: (1) Hollywood; (2) the desert. Granada Hills evokes neither of these, and aspires to be neither of these.

    The City of Los Angeles approves more than 150 species of street trees, many of which would be perfectly in harmony with either our existing plantings, the "Mayberry" theme, or the Spanish Colonial theme.

    But in what biome do Ficus Netita and Date Palm normally coexist?

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  24. The rosebushes were prettier. Deodars are known as a landmark in GH; oaks are native - either would have been better than palm trees, which look like they were dropped in from some failed housing development in Palmdale or Lancaster.

    The BID and the Chamber should trying "asking" people who live in GH what they want, not what the Porter Valley CC crowd and CD 12 staff thinks...

    Typical.

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  25. All good and valid points however a professional landscape architect was hired and as a perfect example you will see Ficus Trees and Canary Palms in perfect harmony on Sunset Blvd throughout Bel Air, Beverly Hills and UCLA....The subject of Spanish Colonial building style is dear to my heart as I was the author of its adoption by the City of Los Angeles in 1985 serving as a community volunteer under Hal Bernson.....
    One only has to look at the Von's Center at San Fernando Mission and Balboa and see it's immediate influence as well as other commerical centers in Granada Hills.....True ...it will take much longer to achieve on Chatsworth Street as the building code''and Spanish motif'' treatment only kicks in on a ''major remodel'' and not just a coat of fresh paint....
    .I have no doubt as a building owner in ''Old Granada Village'' that the new hardscape in the Medians will help ''set the tone'' and property owners will see value in achieving a more collective look than the present hodepodge.......Remember...unlike the City of Pasadena i.e Old Pasadena ...that can allocate $$$$ in major redevelopment loans.....our community as a ''neighborhood'' does not have that type of immediate resource and leverage thus the process to ''transform'' ''downtown'' Granada Hills is a much longer and difficult to accomplish.....however it is happening....

    For background information .and on the point of the roses......yes they looked very good a few months out of the year and then somewhat unkept and fussy at other calendar months......The new landscaping shrubs and groundcover will have a more ''permanent'' and cleaner look and will create a very pleasing year round look.....Again.....every one has their personal view of what looks best however once the street monuments are built that feature red brick, stone boulders base ( that correspond and tie into the Zelzah triangle and Pergola treatment), beautiful Spanish inlay tile and ornamental black rod iron ( tied to the decorative street light posts and steet furniture) will ultimastely create a more visually complete streetscape and medians look and apperance....

    Sincerely,
    John Ciccarelli
    Chairman Granada Hills Business Improvement District

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  26. While we're redecorating, I think Chatsworth Street could also use a few more ellipses and quotation marks. Can you provide us with more of those too? ;)

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  27. ''Sure''.......Happy to oblige....!

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  28. We are our own worst enemy.

    Can’t you all just be grateful?
    The city is old and run down. Someone does something nice and you have to criticize.
    Just say THANK YOU.

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  29. The issue is the rosebushes were fine, and more than a few of the people whose property/businesses are in the BID, which pays for this, were equally fine with them.

    The new landscaping was advocated by a fairly small group, who were set on the palm trees for their own reasons. A liitle transparency would have helped a lot; given that the BID's website does not exist and the facebook page does not list the membership, it is not surprising their are some real questions about value for money.

    Opinion is mixed on the palm trees; more than a few people think they are ugly and no more connect with the landmark deodars tnan a row of saguaro cactus would; other than that, they are better than hardscape, at least.

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  30. The new landscaping was not advocated by a small group of individuals.....A professional Pasadena landscape Arcitechtural Firm was hired and submitted concepts...Transparency ????

    The Medians Beautification Project has been discussed for three years with three annual BID meetings open to the public...Former Bid Executive Director Cheryl Ford attended and discussed the Medians Project at several Old Granda Hills Residents Meetings .The same firm design the Pergola located in the Zelzah Triangle ...yes another BID project ....Imagine that Triangle today without the long extended redwood Pergola stone wall seating area.......

    The same Board members being mentioned are the same individuals who have been loyally attending monthly meetings without renumeration for a decade.......There has not been one BID in the San Fernando Valley that has perserved and has invested as much ''real hardscape'' in an aging shopping district as has and is taken place in the Chatsworth Street Zelzah Ave cross corridor....

    Memories seem to fall short as the existing Chatsworth St Medians ( rose bushes or not) were in fact a BID project installed seven years ago as there used to be two small blacktop islands weed infested...

    The long term'' Old Granda Village'' vision was always to be able to collect the necessary funds to do something dramatic in these medians....and so the day has finally come where it is now taking place......

    California, Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley & Granada Hills & Palm Trees are a natural.....

    I love Deodar Trees on White Oak Ave but would not like having a dark pine tree canopy that blocks out the sun. A drive by shopping District needs to bright open and visible.

    The commerical property stakeholders of the Granada Hills Business Improivemnent District are paying for these improvements....and they are the ones who are involved in the final anaylsis.....I would no sooner ask other civic groups to have carte blanche in their individual sphere of activities and yet cetain arm chair experts on everything good in Granada Hills are looking to criticize and second guess....Diversity in oponion is good.... Uniformed statements and a tasteless April Fools joke involving In and Out Burger has a ''sponsor'' is reckless and counterproductive....

    And one would think that it might be nice to wait until the project is completed before tearing apart the project piece by piece...and civic volunteer efforts of those who are paying for them....

    Sincerely,
    John Ciccarelli
    Chairman -Old Granada Village Business Improvement District

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  31. My "counterproductive" joke seems to have provoked an interesting discussion, but if you really believe that there's no room for joking (on April Fools Day!), griping, grousing, and debating the things that plenty of people in this town care about, then you're on the wrong website, buddy.

    If "diversity in oponion is good" (sic), then why get bent over the criticizing and second guessing? It's a town of 50,000. We're not going to have "uniformed" (or did you mean "uninformed"?) opinions, or even op-onions. You put something in the middle of town, people are gonna have things to say. Get used to it.

    We're supposed to hold our tongues until the whole thing is complete, which as you said in an earlier post could take years? Get real, man. That's like saying you can't criticize a blueprint until after the house has been built.

    And if you thought that joke was tasteless, remind me never to tell you the one about the man from Nantucket....

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  32. Wow, either the residents and businesses in Granada Hills lack a sense of humor, or they lack an IQ to process an April Fool's joke.

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  33. As funny as the inability of certain people to get the joke is, it actually reflects a divide between residents and property/business owners in the community that is very real, and which ultimately will be taken advantage of by those who understand it.

    The root issue is that these actions are being taken, as always, by the same people who have run the chamber and BID for years, and who are about as independent of CD 12 as a poodle - despite the fact that CD 12 pisses on them repeatedly (Street Fair, anyone?) and tells them it is raining.

    Given the general distate among the residents of Granada Hills toward CD 12's designs on Granada Hills, which goes back to Hal Bernson's brainstorm regarding tearing out the deodars to widen White Oak in order to accomodate the traffic expected from the Home Depot (planned for what is now Granada Village South), and then Greig Smith's support of the Kohl's planned for Granada Village North, there are only so many times residents can be surprised by these sorts of decisions without generating some questions.

    Without any involvement/consultation/public meetings with anyone outside the OGHRG (Perhaps the Neighborhood Council? They are elected by the community after all, have more legitimacy in that sense than anyone else does, and have been willing to host forums on the council election and the VRHS#4 applicants), what a surprise, when a major change in streetscape happens, residents wonder what the heck is going on in their little corner of LA.

    If the BID or Chamber had a website that actually existed, was updated, or offered any information about these plans, perhaps the BID might get slightly more community buy-in then when a bunch of septugenarian property owners, who may or may not live in town, make decisions in the back of the Chamber office, up at Porter Valley, or in the CD 12 office.

    Or, most famously, at Baker's Square - how'd that one work out?

    Just a thought.

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  34. The facts are the facts......you raised points and yet you are quick to crticize and make light of people's efforts spanning ten years..without really have taken the time to really know what has trasnspired.....First of all....Deodar trees require a much larger area to plant that medians that are less than five to ten feet in most existing width allowances....

    The Granada Hills Business Improvement District and within its City of LA charter undertook an outstanding Beautification project that will reap divendends for the entire community in the years to come.....

    Yes...there is a blueprint ( Medians Project )...and it was reviewed, discussed decided upon long before this community blog (which is a nice community forum ) existed ...

    I think ''get used to it'' is for you to understand and that this project is now a reality...You don't like the selection or use of Canary Date Palms on the Medians fine....but to constantly jab at the process or individuals involved shows little maturity

    A few days ago....I sopke to Millie Ford of Granada Hills Florist who is literally one of the oldest busineess on Chatsworth Street ......Quite simply she was estatic with the Medians Project.......and commented that her commerical property value will increase and that the'' Encino boundary of Chatsworth Street will feel much more connected to the entire four block village area and centers between Zelzah and Lindley.....The goal of the stately palms now define the village....One only needs to go to many Southern California neighborhoods to see the neighborhood influence of yard orange trees and palms in ''good harmony''....

    As far as not getting a joke....reread earlier posts that caused confusion amongst those following this discussion....

    I normally would let this type of discussion pass at a certain point ....however I know personally the many many hours invested by dedicated civic minded individuals who have worked very hard to make this all a reality and will just follow what is said and speak when necceesary.

    Sincerely,
    John Ciccarelli

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  35. I always heard that Cheryl Ford never kept track of the BID money very well. One time I heard a woman from the OGHRG say she must have sent her son to college with the money or something.

    I don't get why you're fixing up Chatsworth Street now instead of before it became a desolate, boarded up street. There are a few businesses, a lot of massage parlors, and tons of For Rent signs. But since you decided to do it, perhaps in the hopes of actually getting tenants there, you could have at least chosen a native tree. You're not going to make it look like Sherman Way are you?

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  36. Uh oh. Now the whole city thinks it was In and Out! That Cicarelli guy is gonna freak out if someone else takes credit for his dream.


    http://outside.in/los-angeles-ca/in-n-out-burger

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  37. The ''credit for the dream'' belongs to loyal commerical property stakeholders and a group of dedicated Board of Directors who have made this possible....Cheryl Ford worked hard to bring us to this point of fruition ....

    Personal attacks on people doing good ?????

    Concerened that stores are vacant..????

    That is the reason for the upgrade .....

    So if nothing is done ...there would be those who complain.......now that something is being done.......we need permission from every homeowner on what tree specimen ?????

    Perhaps there needs to be a review of people's paint colors and garderning choices....Sure why not ?

    Enjoy the scenery....it is looking nicer by the minute...

    Sincerely,
    John Ciccarelli

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  38. Unbelievable how people can slander volunteers who have put a great deal of their own time, blood, sweat, and money into this community.
    One of the great things about Granada Hills is the joint effort by volunteers on the Chamber of Commerce, Old Granada Hills Residents Group, Granada Hills South Neighborhood Council, Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council, Granada Hills Rotary, Granada Hills Improvement Association, and other volunteers who simply step in and lend a hand. Granada Hills is truly the most neighborly town, but it seems that some people want to gripe about things of which they know nothing, and create disharmony.
    PS: The Palms are awesome!

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  39. Although I am not normally a fan of Palm Trees, the ones on Chatsworth Street look great and really add to the flavor of the street. I see some construction happening also, and look forward to seeing it. Thank you to the people who are working hard to improve our town.
    Nothing to Gripe About

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  40. I am on the board of the Granada Hills South Neighborhood Council and have heard great appreciation from local residents and businesses for the new Palm Trees on Chatsworth Street. Good Work!

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  41. Thank you for the trees! Really much appreciated =)

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  42. Am I the only one who noticed the installation contractor(s) are violating the peak hour ordnance and the Work Area Traffic Control Handbook, creating traffic gridlock on Chatsworth?

    Compliance with both is required -- it's a part of the plans submitted with "B" Permit # 8032.

    http://engpermits.lacity.org/bpermits/common/final_permit.cfm?nla=&ref_no=8032

    From sheet 1, general notes:

    "IN ADDITION TO SIGNS REQUIRED BY THE PROVISIONS OF THE 'WORK AREA TRAFFIC CONTROL HANDBOOK' (WATCH), LATEST EDITION, FURNISH AND PLACE SIGNS FOR GIVING ADVANCE NOTICE TO MOTORISTS OF TRAFFIC DISRUPTION AS PART OF THE PROJECT [...]"

    And my favorite:

    "CHATSWORTH STREET

    All traffic lanes [...] shall be unobstructed from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. of the next day. One lane may be closed at all other times."


    See that??? Get off the street by THREE O'CLOCK for the afternoon rush, not 4-ish. If your crane service is behind, that's not my problem.

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  43. I thought GIGA GRANADA HILLS was to allow us to talk about the good things happening in Granada Hills. Why does it appear that someone is using this site to create controversy where none previously existed? We have a lovely neighborhood with the most wonderful people, and good news is always appreciated.

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  44. Well, it's really just about anything connected to Granada Hills. I'm not much of a pollyanna.

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  45. I grew up in Granada Hills and have the fondest of memories...
    Great site Giga

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  46. Wow, I just came across this story and am really taken aback by the negative comments about the trees and Chatsworth. The entire area desperately needs revitalization and people are going to nitpick over the type of tree used? It's California for Christ's sake, Palm Trees might not be indigenous but they fit and are attractive. I am still stunned by the stupidity the internet has unleashed.

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  47. I live in Granada Hills. The trees are ugly, the markers at each end of the "beautification project" are unreadable and the food trucks have created a parking and driving nightmare in what used to be a quiet neighborhood. Thanks but NO THANKS!!!

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