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Sun Valley Mobilizes to Battle Foothills Tract

December 18, 1986|CLAUDIA PUIG | Times Staff Writer

Sun Valley residents have begun mobilizing to resist a $28-million proposal to build 210 homes in the Verdugo Mountains, which they complain will spoil the rural atmosphere of their neighborhood and increase traffic congestion.

The builder, who held a meeting with residents of the area last week to explain his plan, countered that he planned measures to remedy most complaints, and accused them of being against change.

David George Industries of Los Angeles plans to build a 224-acre subdivision of homes in the $250,000 range in the western Verdugo foothills, north of Glenoaks Boulevard and Hollywood Way.

Company President George Putnam (not the well-known broadcaster) said the homes would be clustered on 106 acres and the remaining 118 acres would be parkland and equestrian trails.

The Sun Valley community plan limits construction in the neighborhood to one dwelling per two acres. The developer, who has built a similar project in Glendale, said he plans to ask for a zoning change to allow one house on about one-fifth of an acre.

Residents say they have collected about 300 names on a petition opposing the project. They plan to present the petition to city officials at zoning hearings and planning commission meetings. The development, they contend, may harm inhabitants of 651 homes.

"They want to squeeze a whole lot of homes into a very small amount of space," said Bob Johannesen, who lives on Edmore Place, just below the planned development.

Residents have also complained that grading on steep hillsides, many with a 50% slope, could cause landslides and pose flood dangers. The environmental impact report stated, however, that grading portions of the site will "provide a greater overall stability . . . which in turn will alleviate some potential problems to the adjacent property."

Putnam said that traffic congestion could be minimized with traffic lights and speed bumps, and that he will build catch basins and drainage devices to prevent flooding.

He said he would consider building fewer houses as a compromise.

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