YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Panel OKs New La Vina Plan but Satisfies No One : Housing: Critics and developers alike complain about scaled-back proposal, which would allow 229 hillside homes on the former sanitarium site.


ALTADENA — Both developers and critics of the proposed La Vina housing project were dissatisfied last week after the Regional Planning Commission approved a scaled-back version of the plan to build single-family homes on the former site of a tuberculosis sanitarium.

The new plan, which calls for just 229 hillside homes, was submitted by co-developers Southwest Diversified Inc. and Cantwell-Anderson after the Planning Commission turned down the original plan last November.

The commission voted 3 to 2 Wednesday to give tentative approval for the scaled-back version of the original plan, which would have placed 272 homes on the 220-acre site at the north end of Lincoln Avenue.

A spokesman for the developers said they will take their case for the original plan to the County Board of Supervisors.

"I can't understand why the commission did not choose the specific (original) plan," said Andrew Oliver, project manager for the Irvine-based Southwest Diversified.

The developers must prepare an environmental impact report for the new plan, which will take about three or four months. They contend, however, that they have already satisfied all critics' worries about the effect of earthquakes and fires in the area. Geological reports have shown that reports of an active faultline under the development are groundless, Oliver said, and a fire plan exceeding the standards in nearby developments has been prepared.

"We certainly feel that we have an obligation, not only to ourselves but to the design of the specific plan, to have all the information reviewed," Oliver said.

Representatives of Friends of La Vina, a community group that has fought housing development on the site for almost five years, said they also were disappointed with the ruling but took heart in the fact that it was not unanimous. They said the group will fight on.

"We have many avenues to consider," said Adolfo Miralles, a leader of the group.

He said Friends of La Vina will also appeal to the Board of Supervisors, which has already approved a General Plan amendment to accommodate the larger plan, and the group will consider further legal action.

Last August, the state Court of Appeal ruled against Friends of La Vina, reversing a Superior Court ruling that consultants for the project were not objective because they were employed by the developers.

Critics of the La Vina project, who say it would desecrate forest land, are considering taking their case to the state Supreme Court.

Los Angeles Times Articles