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Agency Delays Approval of Group Home : Disabled: Residents say they're concerned about the design of the structure, the possible devaluation of their property and the traffic it may bring.


CULVER CITY — The Culver City Redevelopment Agency delayed approving the construction of a group home for six developmentally disabled adults after about two dozen east Culver City residents spoke vehemently against the construction plans at Monday's agency meeting.

Residents voiced concern about the design of the structure, the possible devaluation of their property and the traffic the home may bring.

"East Culver City is an unduly burdened city already," said Bonnie Yates, who lives across the street from the proposed home site.

The neighborhood already houses two facilities for the disabled, the Exceptional Children's Foundation on Washington Boulevard and the United Cerebral Palsy Development Center on Venice Boulevard.

The City Council, acting as the redevelopment agency, delayed financing the $390,500 project that will be run by Jay Nolan Community Services. The organization runs 16 similar facilities in Los Angeles County. The agency will conduct a survey of Nolan's record before the proposal goes up for approval again.

The proposal calls for the property's current owner, Jack Bryant, to sell the single-family house at 3327 Caroline Ave. for the price that he paid for it. In return for donating the equity on the property, estimated by the agency at about $25,000, Bryant's construction company will be given the $170,000 contract to renovate the existing structure and build a second three-bedroom house as well as a six-car garage.

Sandra Levin, who lives near the proposed facility, said that neighbors are not against the idea of having developmentally disabled people on the street, but rather that they are concerned with the design and size of the facility.

Most of the residents complained that the dual structures would not complement the small, single-family homes lining Caroline Avenue. Levin said she would support one three- or four-bedroom house on the proposed site.

Shelly Rothman, who also lives near the proposed site, said she is concerned with the way Nolan takes care of its facilities. Rothman toured other Nolan homes in Los Angeles County and said that in each case "the Nolan home was the worst-looking building on the street."

But Mary Rollins of the Westside Regional Center, a nonprofit agency to help developmentally disabled people, said Nolan's record is excellent, with clients as well as neighborhoods.

And Richard Rosenberg, executive director of Jay Nolan, said, "The reality is that we are doing very well with our neighbors and neighborhoods.

"We try to make all our homes blend in 100% with the neighborhood."

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