Since you might not have had the chance to meet all the Zoning Advisory Committee (ZAC) members in person, we thought it would be fun to feature short profiles on each to help you get to know them better. For this edition, we’d like to introduce Louis Krokover.
A third generation general contractor, Louis Krokover and his family have a long history working alongside the City of Los Angeles in various aspects of planning. His background and involvement with this industry has enabled him to serve as an instrumental advisor for past Planning initiatives, such as the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance (BMO) and Baseline Hillside Ordinance (BHO). In addition to maintaining his family business, NewDay Development, Louis has also served on the Encino Neighborhood Council and Planning and Land Use Committee for over eight years. Louis has lived all over the City, but now resides in Sherman Oaks.
Through his extensive experience dealing with land use in Los Angeles, Louis has become very familiar with the day-to-day issues surrounding the current Zoning Code. His hope with re:code LA is that it will help “improve the process and simplification for everyone to navigate through the planning codes.” Louis also hopes to facilitate greater neighborhood participation in planning to keep key stakeholders well-informed about this project, as well as their property rights. In fact, Louis indicates that one of his earliest and most important lessons in land use was taught by his father’s cousin, who stated: “It’s your property . . . no one is going to tell you what you can do with your property. Key word is 'with.' You can sell it, you can rent it, [and] you can do what you want to do, except the City of LA will tell you what you can do to your property. That’s why we have zoning codes and building codes. If it’s by-right, it makes your life easier . . . It’s your property.”
At the end of re:code LA, Louis envisions that any person will be able to “click on his property . . . or the property he’s looking at and not have to navigate through 20 different areas to find out what they can and cannot do.”
Although his free time is scarce, Louis enjoys sailing, fishing, hunting, cooking, and (champion) dog breeding when he isn’t working. He also does a great deal of charity work including events for skeet and trap shooting, as well as assisting other cities with their planning-related issues on a pro bono basis.
While it’s useful to talk about the issues our City needs to resolve, it’s a bit more fun to talk about some of the things we all have in common: namely, our Angeleno culture.
If you were a tour guide for a day, where would you take a friend visiting from out of town?
"The very first place I would take any friend who has never been to Los Angeles, I would go to Olvera Street because it’s one of the oldest historical places we have in Los Angeles. And it gets overlooked because of what’s happening around it. I would then definitely take them to Staples Center, see what’s happening downtown and the renovations. Then I would take them to the UCLA and USC campus. Everyone wants to see the ocean, but that’s no big deal . . . Olvera Street would be the first stop though because it’s a historical point that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, anymore. Totally off the radar."
If somebody asked you to recommend a dish that could only be found in LA, what would you say?
"It’s more of 'where is the best place to go eat' but everyone has their own preferences. For me, like Mexican food, I love going to Sol y Luna in Tarzana, in the Valley. I’ve eaten all over LA for it. Sol y Luna just has unbelievable flavor. It really does. Italian food today, Oliva. That’s in Sherman Oaks. Barbeque. Oh, Boneyard Bistro. Hands down, I don’t care where you’re from in the United States. If you like barbeque, it’s Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks. It’s true St. Louis, the flavor, you’ll never go anywhere else. Steaks, now, that’s not in Los Angeles. That’s in Pasadena! Arroyo Chop House on Arroyo Parkway. If you’ve ever eaten steaks in Missouri and Kansas and Nebraska, you go eat that. Forget Mastro’s and chain restaurants. Seriously, if you like steaks and you have people in town, people from Nebraska and Kansas will visit their relatives here to go have this steak. They don’t even give you knives there. You can cut the filet mignon with your fork. Chinese food is going to be out in Monterey Park. Japanese food is probably one of the hardest ones of all. Sushi or teppan style? It’s difficult."
Lakers or Clippers?
"Actually, I was a Laker fan for a long time. Two years since I’ve become a Clippers fan. Change of, not of heart, but quality of the game. I think the Clippers play a more entertaining game than the Lakers do. Watch a Clippers game for the past two years and it’s basketball, basketball, basketball, and it’s a total team effort. And the Lakers have become a showboat style."
Frozen yogurt, gelato or kale?
“Gelato. Authentic and good gelato is hard to find here in Los Angeles, but there used to be an Italian deli, Domingo’s Delicatessen, in the Valley, and they used to make unbelievable gelato.”
As you may already know, we selected our 21 Zoning Advisory Committee (ZAC) members to represent the diverse interests and various stakeholder groups of Los Angeles. Reading their biographies, you can see that each brings exciting viewpoints and experiences to the re:code LA project. The ZAC have been working closely with our team over the past year, and have already had a valuable impact on the re:code LA efforts.