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Film Home, Neighbors Patch Rift : Accord Clears Way for Retirement Complex's Expansion

November 05, 1986|BOB POOL | Times Staff Writer

Woodland Hills homeowners Tuesday signed a peace treaty with officials of the film industry's hospital and retirement complex, ending a dispute over a $40-million expansion project.

Officials of the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital promised to redesign parts of their Mulholland Drive project to buffer it from nearby homeowners.

In return, the Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization dropped an appeal it filed two months ago after a Los Angeles zoning administrator granted a variance and a conditional-use permit for the construction.

Both sides declared themselves winners after the city Board of Zoning Appeals accepted a signed pact attesting to their satisfaction with the compromise.

"This is going to make this project much less intrusive to the community," said Paul Kahn, a representative of the homeowners group.

"This proves we're an asset to the community and will continue to be," said John King, director of planning for the motion picture home.

The dispute began at an Aug. 25 zoning hearing, when Woodland Hills residents complained that the development was not in harmony with their adjoining $300,000 homes.

Parking Lot Moved

Under the new plans, a proposed driveway and a parking lot will be relocated from the southern end of the 37-acre site, which borders the single-family neighborhood.

Project planners also will scale down four proposed retirement cottages close to the homes, limiting them to one story and two units. Heavy landscaping or a wall will be installed around the edge of the retirement-home property to screen the new buildings from nearby residences.

Officials of the entertainment industry retirement home also agreed to return to city zoning officials every five years for a review of expansion, which is expected to take at least 10 years.

The finished project will more than triple the size of the complex, which is supported by the Hollywood film industry for people who are at least 65 years old and have worked in motion pictures or television 20 years or more.

Officials of the Motion Picture and Television Fund, which operates the home, said the project is needed to handle a growing waiting list of entertainment-industry retirees.

The development will about double the size of the hospital, to 259 beds, raise the capacity of the residential lodge from 70 to 357 and increase the apartments from 54 to 184.

Kahn said the redesign means that the project will be built "without having the appearance of a row of apartment houses."

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