Filming in La Canada Flintridge

Film production crews unload trees as other crews arrive with portable power at 4159 Commonwealth Ave., in La Canada Flintridge. Some neighbors do not like the frequency of filming at this home. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / September 18, 2013)

La Cañada Flintridge residents helped city staff hash out the details for a revised film ordinance on Thursday night.

Twenty-two people, including representatives from the Motion Picture Association of America and the California Film Commission, attended a three-hour community workshop at Descanso Gardens’ Van de Kamp Hall. The workshop was planned in response to concerns over filming in the city.

About half of the attendees were in favor of less restrictions for filming; others sought more rigid controls in regards to filming times, frequency of filming, and neighbor notification. They were divided into two groups to seek solutions and reach a consensus on key issues.

A smaller group comprised of six residents — three in favor of more restrictions, three in favor of fewer restrictions — will soon meet with city staff to hammer out the details of a proposed ordinance before the issue returns to the city’s Public Safety Commission. The film ordinance was last updated in 1995.

Attendees called the workshop a success.

Russ Fega runs the website Home Shoot Home, which offers a database of homes that are available for filming. During the workshop, he said he was able to come to an agreement on some filming issues with other residents who want to see more restrictions.

Fega said he would prefer fewer restrictions.

“La Cañada has got so much to offer for filming,” he said. “It shouldn’t be so difficult to shoot here.”

Mary Beth Rehman-Dittu, a member of the recently-formed group La Cañada Neighbors for Fair Filming, also said she felt the meeting went well.

Rehman-Dittu  brought a map to the meeting to highlight a particular issue with filming in her neighborhood on Commonwealth Avenue. She said she would like to see more restrictions, particularly in regards to notifying the neighbors surrounding a film shoot.

“I thought [the workshop] was really productive,” she said. “It’s a balancing act.”

Follow Tiffany Kelly on Google+ and on Twitter: @LATiffanyKelly.

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