Neighbors of the Westside Pavilion will meet July 20 to discuss a draft environmental report on a 160,000-square-foot expansion of the shopping center proposed by Westfield Inc.
The report was prepared in response to concerns voiced last year by some residents near the shopping mall at Westwood and Pico boulevards.
At that time residents and businessmen told city officials that they feared the expansion would exacerbate problems associated with the pavilion. These included heavy traffic and shopper parking on residential streets, noise and parking-lot lights that disturbed people living behind the shopping center.
Objections to Size
Some residents objected to the size of the proposed building and some opposed plans to connect the old and new shopping centers with a bridge over Westwood Boulevard. Shops would be located along the bridge which would accommodate pedestrian and car traffic.
Neighbors said they were concerned about Westfield Inc.'s plan to ask for either a zone change or a conditional use permit for a portion of the property that is now zoned for residential use. Under current zoning restrictions, Westfield Inc. can construct a building no larger than 105,000 square feet.
Sandy Brown, speaking for six homeowner groups, said that residents have been contacted and invited to study the report and comment on it.
Brown said that early reaction to the report indicates that residents still object to the idea of a bridge over Westwood Boulevard and are concerned over the rezoning of a back portion of the lot to give the developers more buildable space.
"The bridge is very alien to people in the community," Brown said.
"The builders, Westfield, are good people. They are the type of people you like to have as your neighbors. Maybe and hopefully something can be worked out where he (Westfield President Richard Green) is willing to stay (instead of selling the property to someone else) and the project will be completed, " Brown said.
Green said his company is prepared to increase the amount of parking originally proposed so that there will be room for cars of shoppers and employees of both buildings, as well as customers of nearby Pico Boulevard merchants.
Westfield is also willing to meet other measures proposed in the environmental impact report, such as widening of Pico Boulevard, Green said. The company also offered to build cul-de-sacs on residential streets which have been used by shoppers seeking shortcuts.
John E. Endicott, vice president of development of Westfield Inc., said the company has "an open-door policy" and "anybody who wants to see us to talk about the EIR or for clarification" is welcome to contact the builders at 11111 Pico Blvd. or telephone at (213) 478-4456.
Those wishing to comment on the preliminary environmental impact report have until Aug. 3 to contact the city Planning Department.