The Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association hosted Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge on Wednesday night, as LaBonge spent over an hour discussing his personal and politcal background and taking questions from the crowd.
LaBonge, who represents Los Angeles' fourth district, spoke to the more than 100 residents in attendance and fielded questions regarding his political track record and his plans for the future.
LaBonge promised that he will remain accessible to the public throughout his tenure in office.
"On all issues, I work with people," LaBonge said. "I like to bring city hall to the people and I’m looking to get an office in Sherman Oaks. I will come to you in your neighborhood."
"Some people are concerned with the national issues and global issues, but this man is concerned with the neighborhood issues," said SOHA president Richard Close. "He’s concerned with the community."
One neighborhood issue brought to LaBonge's attention Wednesday night was the .
LaBonge, who attended the neighborhood council meeting, commented then that the project seemed to be "a little bit more than [he] would approve."
He stood by that statement on Wednesday.
"I haven't studied this project, but from what I saw, I think it's too intense," LaBonge said. "But this whole thing is a process."
Also in attendance at Wednesday's meeting was Fatima Marques, owner of Natas Pastries in Sherman Oaks.
Marques recently was involved in a dispute over the approval of the Brown Sugar LA bakery and store, operated by well-known pastry chef Amy Brown, in a retail and business center , where Marques' business currently resides.
Marques argued that if Brown Sugar were allowed to rent the vacant space in the center, it would exacerbate an already serious shortage of parking in that area.
Last month, the to move forward with the bakery.
"This particular tenant [Fatima] is going to be devastated, and our community is going to be devastated," said Matt Epstein, SOHA vice president.
On Wednesday, LaBonge was asked what his thoughts were regarding the situation.
"The most important thing is to reengineer," LaBonge said. "The planning department should look for ways to figure this out. Local parking is really important. I will work with [Fatima] on that."