Meet Pacific Palisades Community Council President Barbara Kohn

She cited concerns with the city's planning proposal for form-based zoning, as well as the ongoing issue of the Department of Water and Power's proposal for a new substation.

Newly-seated Pacific Palisades Community Council President Barbara Kohn admits various land use and infrastructure issues top her concerns as she now prepares to lead the discussion in town. Her one-year term began on July 1 following , and she takes over in a year where the community council reportedly celebrates its 40th year since formation.

A Palisades resident going on 46 years, Kohn was the council's Area 1 representative for 12 years before being nominated for the top position. Since taking on her new role, Kohn said she's been busy catching up on administrative tasks. Outgoing Community Council President Janet Turner was for her two years at the helm.

Kohn is "very concerned" with the Los Angeles Department of Planning's proposal for form-based zoning, where the city reportedly plans to roll out a new form rezoning.

"I'm not sure what it will entail," Kohn said, noting those discussions are still in preliminary stages. "My concern is that Palisades is R-1, so we want to protect that."

Another issue Kohn noted is the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's (DWP) proposal to in Pacific Palisades, which has generated a buzz in town. The LADWP currently owns land adjacent to , which they proposed building the facility there. Since then, major opposition and possible alternative locations are being sought. to vote in a poll from April about those proposed locations.

Kohn also expressed concern for economic development in town.

"I'd like to see a more vibrant business district," she said.

Other local issues Kohn addressed include:

  • Continued concern over Los Angeles' finances and fiscal stability, citing cutbacks to services, as well as lack of maintenance on Pacific Palisades roads and other neighborhoods in the city.
  • Five proposed single-family residential developments on Castellammare Drive and two 50-plus unit condominium proposals on Sunset Boulevard near Marquez Drive.
  • The potential problems that could arise for Pacific Palisades commuters on the Pacific Coast Highway who use the California Incline, one of the primary access points into Santa Monica. The City Council last week, which will close the roadway for 12 to 18 months starting in late 2013 or early 2014. 
  • Seeking the city to adopt an ordinance on telecommunications facility proposals, or cell phone towers, to address aesthetics, placement and proper public notification. Kohn added there are currently five proposals for cell towers in Pacific Palisades.
  • Preventing the city to approve putting commercial signage in local parks.
  • Continued concern for safer local intersections. Kohn touted the two signal lights installed last year- one at Castellammare Drive and the other at Los Liones Drive.

Background and experience

Aside from her community council years, Kohn comes from working in the retail business for 20 years as owner and operator of the former Grandma's Antiques and Collectables between Fifth and Sixth Streets on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business and business education from the University of California - Los Angeles.

Kohn has been a member of the Pacific Palisades Residents Association for 39 years, and currently sits as president, a post she's held for 12 years. She's also been a board member of No Oil, Inc. for 36 years, which formed to prevent drilling along the local coastline.

Kohn lives in Pacific View Estates with her husband Ben and they have two sons.

"It’s the most wonderful place in the world to live," Kohn said about Pacific Palisades. "We’re very fortunate to live here."


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