A proposed nine-unit, four-story condo complex on Laurelwood Drive overlooking received a resounding no vote for now by the of the on Wednesday night.
Committee members voted unanimously that the proposal was “not within character of the community” and will send their recommendations to the entire Neighborhood Council next week.
Committee member Kristina Hope said, “This is not very attractive, it looks like a prison.”
Fellow committee member Richard Niederberg pointed out on the designs that he was uncomfortable about the balconies that looked into the playground of the elementary school that he once attended. “Balconies overlooking the schoolyard seems like a pedophile’s delight,” he said.
Committee member Mel Scott Randall was concerned about the children, too. “You have children walking up and down the street … it’s a risk to school children,” he said. “It is also out of character of the neighborhood and quite frankly the building looks like hell to me.”
Tom Stemmock, representing the builders of the project at 11912 Laurelwood Drive, said that project conforms to the general plan, there is more than ample underground parking with 22 spaces, and there are plans for open space greenery on the rooftop in the center of the building. Ken Stockton Architects designed the building on the lot that once held a single house.
Neighbors came to register their protests. Jane Taylor pointed out that the one-way roundabout road just south of Ventura Boulevard already is congested. “Our cars get sideswiped by drunk drivers and it’s impossible to park,” she said.
Diane Forester, the property manager for Holiday Manor Apartments that would be across the street from the new development, said, “There are already major potholes in the road, and this is only going to make it worse.”
Both Forester and Taylor have school-aged children as well, and there are no sidewalks along the road.
Another neighbor Jane Powers, said she wondered why the developers took down a majestic pine tree that was six foot in diameter on the site which provided shade to the neighborhood.
Randall added, “Tearing down an old-growth tree like that before you have designs for what’s going there shows a lack of concern for the neighbors.”
Committee chairsaid she was concerned that the underground parking may actually run into flooding problems because the area has had groundwater and rainfall issues in the past.
Sarkin, also an alum to the elementary school, lamented, "You cannot believe the amount of traffic that hits that school in the morning and again in the afternoon every day. There are more than 900 kids going to a school that was built for less than half that."
The vote suggests that the committee would look at the proposal again once the environmental impact report comes in.
However, nothing will do to change ’s mind.
“Under no circustance will I vote for this project,” she said flatly.