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Development Plan for Playa Vista

February 14, 1993

I am proud to call myself an environmentalist. I have dedicated nearly 20 years of my life to working for the University of California in the marine sciences. I commend Sen. (Tom) Hayden and Councilwoman (Ruth) Galanter on their history of strong environmental support. However, I must disagree with their opposition to the Maguire Thomas Playa Vista project (Times, Jan. 1).

Consider how this project will enhance our community. Nearly 50% of the total acreage of the Maguire Thomas project is dedicated to parks and open space, which encompasses restoration of 260 acres of wetlands at a cost to Maguire Thomas of more than $10 million. The Playa Vista plan incorporates miles of tree-lined riparian corridors, pedestrian walkways, promenades and a new 600-vessel marina. Coastal access will be increased, and low-cost housing, public educational facilities and jobs will be created. And the proximity of these jobs to housing is designed to free people from their automobiles.

If Maguire Thomas is forced out by opposition, what will creep in to fill the void as Los Angeles continues to grow? Certainly not parks, open space and restored wetlands. Such things are well beyond the resources of the city and county.

The issue is this: Will unplanned sprawl that is so typical of Los Angeles continue? Or do we commit ourselves to cultivating planned communities that represent a renaissance of habitability, which will improve the quality of urban life?

I strongly urge all those who wish to see this project become a model for future development in Los Angeles to support all phases of the Maguire Thomas Playa Vista project.

RICHARD T. NELSON

Marina del Rey

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