Board members from 33 Valley neighborhood councils drove through the rain to pack the room at the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils’ Planning Forum on Thursday night. The crowd filled Carla’s Cafe on the CBS Studio lot in Studio City for a supper buffet, networking and learning. Futurist Joel Kotkin presented his case for preserving LA’s unique decentralization. Deputy Planning Director Alan Bell described the multicenter concept that underlies the LA General Plan, updated to include transit corridors. Breakout sessions ranged from Planning 101 for new committee members to specialized sessions that covered subjects from CUPs and Variances to Planning Outreach. Jill Banks Barad of Sherman Oaks, the Alliance President, produced this crowd-pleasing show. VANC councils contributed funds to support the training program. It was a great example of what neighborhood councils can do to help the system grow.