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Annexation Opposed

June 09, 1991

The Los Angeles Planning Commission's apparent eagerness to give 10 Los Angeles homes to Beverly Hills does not make sense from either a planning or safety perspective.

I was director of planning for Beverly Hills at the time when the Hillgreen Drive cul-de-sac was developed in 1963, and was a Los Angeles Public Works commissioner representing the Board of Public Works on the city's General Plan Advisory Board in the late 1970s, when these same homes requested and were refused deannexation. No complaints of public safety were made at that time.

The fundamental logic in good land-use planning is consistency and the avoidance of special privilege. Given the almost chaotic boundary line that has existed for more than 75 years between Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, adversely affecting hundreds of properties, the commission's action is difficult to justify. As a matter of fact, in many instances, the city line actually cuts through properties, requiring life-and-death decisions on which city is responsible for emergency services.

I just can't believe that the commission's action was based on unsubstantiated incidents involving alleged inability of paramedics to respond to emergency calls. The 10 affected homes are only a few blocks from the Los Angeles Pico paramedic station, far closer than they would be to the Beverly Hills station.

Ironically, the cul-de-sac which requires a peculiar route from Pico Boulevard to these homes was originally demanded by these homes as protection from Pico Boulevard and Century City traffic. They have enjoyed this self-imposed isolation for 30 years without ever once objecting. If now they perceive a safety problem, all they need to do is to request removal of the cul-de-sac or consideration of an alternative traffic solution. Whatever the motive for the deannexation, it certainly is not safety.

MAX W. STRAUSS

Los Angeles

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