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NORTH HILLS : Planners OK Zone Change for Complex

April 24, 1993|JEFF SCHNAUFER

Despite opposition by more than 200 neighbors, the Los Angeles Planning Commission on Thursday approved a zoning change allowing a 20-unit apartment complex to be built at 8352 Haskell Ave.

Planning Commission President Theodore Stein Jr. said the city had no choice but to approve the project because denying it would have meant the city was not following its master plan, making it liable to a lawsuit.

"If we were not confined by an outdated master plan, we would have disapproved," Stein said.

The project still faces opposition. Councilman Joel Wachs' office submitted a motion to the City Council last week to amend the 20-year-old community plan in order to restrict construction of apartment complexes in that area and still have zoning consistency.

"This is clearly . . . an inappropriate place to put an apartment building," Wachs' aide Tom Henry said.

Opponents plan to give Wachs' motion for a planning amendment time to catch up with the approved zone change before the apartment complex is approved by the City Council, Henry said. Local residents, who had garnered more than 200 signatures to oppose the project, were hopeful that the apartment complex will be thwarted.

"We don't want any zoning changes at this time until we have a new community plan," said Brigitte Siatos, vice president of the North Hills Community Coordinating Council. "We have to review first what we have. Especially in apartment buildings," she said.

Charles and Rosalina Blackburn, who filed for the zoning change to build the apartments, could not be reached for comment.

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