Melvil Street reopened by Council on 3-2 vote

After reopening Main Street back up to traffic in recent weeks, the Culver City Council also reopened Melvil Street, between Washington Boulevard and the city boundary, at the council meeting on the evening of Monday, March 27. 

The vote was 3-2 in favor of reopening, with Mayor Albert Vera and Council Members Dan O’Brien and Göran Eriksson the three “yes” votes. Vice Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin and Council Member Freddy Puza voted against.

A staff report reads, “The Council asked staff to consider closing Melvil Street as an alternative to Hargis Street due to accessibility issues relative to a local school. A community meeting was held on September 23, 2020, to discuss a potential street closure on Melvil Street between Washington Boulevard and the alleyway. Notification was sent to area businesses and residents on Melvil Street, Hargis Avenue and Fay Avenue. The meeting was attended by only a handful of area residents, and at that time, there were no issues/challenges presented regarding closing Melvil Street. An aerial of the area and surrounding business and residential neighborhood is provided in Attachment 1. The street closures were implemented by the Public Works Department shortly thereafter and later modified in November 2021, as part of implementing the Move Culver City project. The modifications reduced the closure area along Washington Boulevard; however, these modifications did not change the Melvil Street configuration installation.”

At the meeting, the public speakers were split. Eriksson pointed out that the closures were always meant to be temporary, and now was the time to “get back to normal.” McMorrin reminded the council of the imminent threat of global warming, and many speakers said that they prefer life this way. 

The majority couldn’t be swayed though, and the vote carried.

Later, the council unanimously voted in favor of Action Item A2, which called for “adoption of an urgency ordinance establishing commercial tenant eviction protections during applicable grace periods for the repayment of rent accrued during the eviction moratorium period established under the covid-19 local emergency.”

The ordinance will mean that tenants paying rent under an agreed payment plan can’t be evicted. This was an area where all five members of the council found common ground, and it passed quickly and without fuss.