The Los Angeles City Council's Planning and Environment Committee approved construction Tuesday of a $2.5-million Romanian Orthodox church complex in rural Shadow Hills after church officials agreed to a list of demands by surrounding residents.
To satisfy neighborhood residents, the church agreed to preserve a horse trail on the 8-acre parcel, retain 2 acres of open space on the property, restrict the size of the church's congregation to 350 families and limit the hours that the congregation can gather on the property.
The church, which has outgrown its facilities in Glendale, plans to build a 5,000-square-foot, Byzantine-style chapel and social hall on hilly property in the 10500 block of Wentworth Street.
Area residents had expressed concern that the project might spoil a rural area popular among equestrians. They also feared that it would bring noise and traffic to their neighborhood.
But the church won the support of committee members Hal Bernson and Ruth Galanter after it agreed to the residents' demands, including limiting church hours to 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., except on important religious holidays when midnight services will be permitted.
The Planning and Environment Committee is made up of City Council members Bernson, Galanter and Mike Woo, who was absent.
The Shadow Hills property was purchased by church officials in October for $230,000. Area residents in March appealed the Board of Zoning Appeals' granting of a permit for construction of the church complex.
Tuesday's approval is scheduled to be considered next month by the full City Council, which is expected to accept the committee's decision.