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    Woodruff Ave. Townhome Development Being Downsized, Developer Says; Goal Now 48 (Instead of 88) Residential Units

    (October 14, 2003) -- Anastasi Development Co. is working on plans to downsize significantly the number of units at its contemplated townhome development in the 3800 block (east side) of Woodruff Ave. at Harco St.

    Anastasi's project manager Chris Zalewski told the firm is "working on plans to downsize the number of units and at this point, our goal is 48."

    Carson Park meeting, Oct 9/03Word of the pending downsizing initially came from leaders of the Carson Park Community Group at an Oct. 9 community meeting. In photo, Angela Kimball, the group's director, and Robin Devitt, PR & organizing consultant.

    Lowenthal visits Woodruff Ave. condo site July 11/03The Carson Park group has pressed for reduction in the development's density from an originally proposed 88 units in 27 residential bldgs. (plus a recreation bldg.) on a 3.79 acre L-shaped parcel along the south side and back of the existing medical building.

    The City of LB, via a Dec. 2002 letter from Planning & Bldg. Dir Eugene Zeller, had urged the County Planning Comm'n. to reduce the project's density for consistency with the surrounding ELB single family residential neighborhood.

    The site is part of an unincorporated L.A. County "island" extending a few blocks east of Woodruff Ave...which gives the L.A. County, not LB City Hall, decisionmaking power over the project...and the L.A. County Regional Planning Commission approved the project with the density sought by the developer.

    The Carson Park group vowed to appeal the issue to County Board of Supervisors...and displayed considerable sophistication in organizing its opposition.

    Lowenthal visits Woodruff Ave. condo site July 11/03They used neighborhood signs...

    Carson Park meeting, April 03...created a web site and email alert system, appointed block captains and organized meetings that drew overflow crowds of more than 200 people (in photo, April 30, 2003 meeting at Patrick Henry Elementary School).

    They also brought the isssue to LB City Hall, using public comment periods at LB Council meetings...which produced support from 5th district Councilwoman Jackie Kell, whose largely single family residential district abuts the project.

    On Oct. 8, L.A. County Supervisor and Board Chairman Pro-Tem Don Knabe (who has the power with a Board majority to rule on any appeal of the project) sent a letter to the chair of L.A. County's Regional Planning Commission, stating in pertinent part:

    I am informed that the Department of Regional Planning has now discovered upon a thorough review of its files and general plan documentation, that the [County] staff report was in error; the general plan land use classification of the property is not Major Commercial, but instead it is Low Density Residential (48 units maximum). Regional Planning staff indicated that interpretation of the Countywide General Plan has been much improved by the use of new technology and implementation of parcel specific data and more detailed maps.

    In light of this discovery, it seems appropriate for the Regional Planning Commission to reopen the public hearing so that it can consider this new information before taking final action on the project.

    s/ Don Knabe
    Chairman Pro-Tem
    Board of Supervisors
    County of Los Angeles

    Carson Park meeting, Oct 9/03The letter was read aloud at the Oct. 9 Carson Park meeting by Matt Knabe, LB office aide to Supervisor Knabe.

    Further details to follow as they develop.

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