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'Dumb Policy' on VA Land

September 04, 1986

Your editorial (Aug. 19), "Dumb Policy," regarding the sale of Veterans Administration land in West Los Angeles and in Sepulveda was right on the mark.

There is a serious question whether the West Los Angeles land is worth anywhere near what the government's appraisers say it is.

It is zoned as open space. There are no utilities on the surplus land and the city's systems are already overburdened.

The City of Los Angeles recently spent several million dollars in filling and improving a 12-acre site on Barrington for a park with ball diamonds and off-street parking for apartment residents in the area. This is taxpayers' money that would be down the drain should that site be sold.

The Westside cannot stand the development that the 80 acres would bring. The San Diego Freeway is virtually gridlock six days a week, as are Sunset and Wilshire Boulevards.

The addition of the Getty Museum in Brentwood will do nothing but exacerbate the traffic situation. The environmental impact report prepared for the city by Getty's engineeres indicates an average 5,000 additional cars on the area's streets on Saturdays and Sundays. The VA site is within a mile of the Getty site as the crow flies.

There is a concentrated effort on the part of the citizens of the area to block this sale for the reasons mentioned in your editorial. It is not clear yet that this effort will be successful even though the exclusion of both Sepulveda and West Los Angeles has been approved by the House of Representatives. Several key senators have not indicated a willingness to go along with this approval.

The citizens intend to keep the pressure on to help them change their mind. A full page ad opposing the sale appeared in the Westside section of The Times (July 27) and yielded more than 2,200 replies, including unsolicited financial contributions.

There were also several heart-rending letters from veterans or relatives of veterans detailing the impact of the facility on their lives. It is clear they do not want the facility sold.

SUSAN C. YOUNG

Los Angeles

Young is chairman of the Committee to Save the VA Land in West Los Angeles.

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