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Residents Respond to School Chief's Letter

September 06, 1987

Regarding Supt. Leonard Britton's letter (Aug. 16):

Britton's contention that documentation is available and will support district efforts to work with city planning officers and with the commission on these sites is a self-serving misreading of the facts.

In the Grant Elementary School initial study provided to the city Planning Department, the impact assessment borders on fraudulent:

"Acquisition of these properties for school expansion will not create any adverse land-use impacts as all of the southern half of the existing block is occupied by the school at the present time. The proposed institutional uses will be compatible with the surrounding land uses."

Acquisition of these properties is blockbusting and bureaucratic double speak for demolition of historically significant homes occupied by a multi-ethnic community.

Along Carlton Way, north of Grant School, six buildings were found to be local landmarks eligible for historic designation. The district included a finding that no historical sites would be impacted by this project.

Britton states that members of the board and district staff have met numerous times with community groups; only parents of pupils in those schools are invited. The community whose homes are subject to demolition are summarily excluded from the notification of such meetings.

We, the tenants whose homes are threatened with extinction were not notified until January of this year of their intentions. The property owners had been notified in May, 1986, without benefit of the knowledge of the proposed negative declaration of no impact. Nor were they notified of any community meetings scheduled to discuss the expansion on the property they are forced to sell under threat of eminent domain.

Britton did not mention that the completed environmental checklist for each of the four Hollywood schools was not filled in when submitted for the alleged environmental impact analysis.

Britton makes no mention that the notification to the public was published in the little-known Daily Journal and posted in three places: on the bulletin boards at Grant School, at the L. A. County Courthouse and the Board of Education administrative offices.

He does not mention, now that they are approaching Phase III of this project, that they are finally making themselves available to address these issues, only to tell us it's too late to alter the plan. The plan on which nobody has seen an alternative study.

The plan that by their own admission falls short of the necessary expansion needed. The plan that renders extinct a unique and gentrified atmosphere, that of good people who protect the children and their school from the encroaching drug dealers and prostitutes and their lethal waste byproducts.

Thanks to Sen. Daniel Inouye who reminded us that, in this system "the people still rule."

We are requesting that alternative studies by a talented consultant acceptable to both school officials and community be the very next order of business without further delay.


Los Angeles


Melvoin is chairman pro-tem of the Carlton Way/Harold Way Neighborhood Assn.

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