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Westside Digest

Culver City : Court Lets Mall Plan Stand

June 29, 1989

Culver City will prepare a supplemental environmental impact report for the proposed Marina Place shopping mall, but will not have to rescind its overall approval of the project, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge decided last week.

Both sides claimed victory in the first hearing of what could be a long court battle over construction of the 1-million-square-foot mall on Washington Boulevard, where the western tip of Culver City juts into Los Angeles near Marina del Rey.

Culver City Atty. Joseph Pannone said the city had planned to do a supplemental environmental study anyway, and that Judge Kurt J. Lewin's decision to allow the approvals to stand upholds the city's right to establish its own zoning standards.

Debra Bowen, an attorney representing the Venice Town Council, which along with the city of Los Angeles filed suit last September against Culver City contending that the environmental report was inadequate and threatened public access to the beach, said the neighborhood group got what it was asking for in the preparation of a new study.

In April, the Venice Town Council rejected a settlement offer by the mall's developer, Prudential Insurance Co., which consisted of $6.7 million in road improvements and other measures to ease traffic flow and a $5-million trust fund to build affordable housing.

But the talks fell through when the group demanded a 50% reduction in the size of the project. Prudential officials made it clear that the size of the project was not negotiable.

Before the court hearing late last week, the Culver City Council approved the scope of work for the supplemental report. A draft of the new report, which is expected to cost about $61,000 and is to be paid by Prudential, is expected to be ready by late summer.

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