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Prospect Plaza Opponents Sue Over Report

August 27, 1987|EDMUND NEWTON | Times Staff Writer

SAN GABRIEL — In the latest move in a knotty 6-month-old dispute over the development of the former Edwards Drive-In Theater, opponents of a proposed hotel and restaurant complex on the site have filed suit in an effort to invalidate the environmental impact report prepared for the project.

The report, which was done last year for the city by a private firm, is required by the State Public Resources Code for developments that could have a significant impact on the environment.

"The report is totally inadequate and incomplete," said Greg O'Sullivan, chairman of Citizens for Responsible Development, the plaintiff in the suit. "It didn't identify major impacts to the environment. When it did identify a few, it said briefly that the problem goes beyond the scope of the report."

The citizens group acknowledges that the latest legal move is more of a stumbling block than an actual barrier to the planned development, sponsored by the Shyu Co. of Monterey Park. "If the suit is successful, the city would have to do a new report," said Ronald Friendt, the attorney representing the group.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday August 30, 1987 Home Edition San Gabriel Valley Part 9 Page 2 Column 2 Zones Desk 2 inches; 38 words Type of Material: Correction
A headline on a story in Thursday's San Gabriel Valley section incorrectly identified a proposed hotel and restaurant complex in San Gabriel. The proposed development, on the site of the former Edwards Drive-In Theater, is known as the San Gabriel Commercial Complex.

The developer has been to court once, to fight a petition to put the development on the ballot in September. Construction on the 11.5-acre site on Valley Boulevard is scheduled to begin next year.

City officials would not comment on the latest development in the dispute.

Guidelines Followed

In preparing the report, officials at the Pasadena-based Cotton/Beland Associates said they followed guidelines set forth in the California Environmental Quality Act of 1974.

"Certainly we make every effort in our office to make sure the reports are complete," said Paul Secord, principal planner for the firm. "We certainly feel that in this case, the report does meet the guidelines."

However, O'Sullivan said, among other things, the report failed to note the potential impact on traffic of a 44-unit office and retail complex a block west of the the drive-in site. The complex, called Prospect Plaza, has been under construction for several months, said City Administrator Robert Clute.

'Where's the Planning?'

O'Sullivan contends the "accumulated impact" of the two new development sites would serve to gorge already-busy Valley Boulevard with traffic. "Where's the planning in all of this?" O'Sullivan asked.

The complaint alleges that the environmental impact report is "nothing more than a series of conclusory statements, unsubstantiated by any evidence." It also charges that the report did not adequately consider the need for increased police and fire protection because of the new development or the impact on parking and the sewer system.

No court hearing has been set on the complaint, which was filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court. Friendt said he expects it to be heard within the next four to six months.

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