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For Workplaces Near Where People Live

December 30, 1988

My husband and I live in the San Fernando Valley and, for over 2 years, have been reading and listening to comments, both pro and con, regarding Warner Center and Warner Ridge. I have attended a couple of meetings of the Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization as well as the hearing on this project at Parkman Junior High, which certainly brought out the "worst" in many of those present.

Without going into a lot of detail, it was interesting to note that the developers have bent over backwards to explain and discuss the issues involved with the "powers-that-be" in the homeowners organization, as well as meeting and talking with residents of the community concerning their needs and wishes. What is most disturbing is that the WHHO people refuse to listen, and yet those who would be most affected by this development are, in some cases, agreeable, willing to take the time to hear the long-range plans and able to deal with progress.

There is an interesting parallel between some of the members of WHHO who would oppose anything representing growth and progress and those who oppose light rail. Some time back, an elderly woman came to my door and asked me if I owned my house. I asked her why she was inquiring, and she stated that she was getting homeowners' signatures on a petition to block light rail. My response to her was that I would be the first in line to use it since I'm one of the unfortunate ones who must drive the freeway each and every day and would dearly love a rapid transit system. This woman has undoubtedly been retired for several years, does not understand the need for a solution to some of the transportation problems and was rather belligerent in her approach. This same type of mentality exists within the WHHO, and one is made patently aware of it at their membership meetings.

Many of the members appear to be retired and have no comprehension of the needs and requirements of those of us who work each and every day and would work in our community if given the opportunity. The majority of us have to drive to various parts of Los Angeles on a daily basis. If some of the offices were to relocate to the Valley, then I'm all for growth of this nature.

The developers, Warner Ridge Associates, fulfilled all of Joy Picus' requests. They walked door to door in the community talking with residents in order to understand their anxieties and their needs and to explain that they would make this project as compatible as possible with the neighborhood. Also, that traffic mitigation measures would be taken to ensure that traffic would not worsen as a result of their project.

If Joy Picus feels that her stance on this issue will get her reelected, I feel she's in for quite a surprise.

From what I've seen and heard, if a poll were taken of the working force in the community (those who live north of Ventura Boulevard in the environs of Van Nuys, Encino, Reseda, Tarzana, Woodland Hills and Canoga Park), it might be surprising to find that the majority would prefer to live and work in their community.

Think about it. This might also lessen the gridlock conditions of our freeway systems! Let's encourage the developers. Let's create new jobs and better working conditions and give the Valley residents a chance!

BARBARA J. ZUMWALT

Encino

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