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ENCINO : Accord Near Over Vocational School

May 27, 1993|SCOTT GLOVER

A homeowners group and a vocational school are nearing a compromise that could diffuse what was expected to be a tooth-and-nail battle over the school's bid to continue doing business in Encino.

Pacific Coast College, which opened in 1992, requires an exception to the Ventura Boulevard Specific Plan because it is operating in an area reserved for retail and pedestrian-oriented uses.

Nearby homeowners had complained that the college's 400 students create excessive noise and traffic and add to parking problems in the area.

Under the compromise proposed by the college, the Homeowners of Encino have agreed not to fight Pacific Coast College's request for an exception to the plan, which governs development along the 17-mile boulevard, said Gerald A. Silver, president of the Homeowners of Encino.

In ongoing negotiations, the college has proposed phasing out the school's 400 students by August, 1994, and discontinuing educational activity at the facility at Ventura Boulevard and Gaviota Avenue, said Edward McIntyre, a vice president and chief financial officer of United Education and Software, the parent company of Pacific Coast College.

While Silver called this "a fair and equitable solution," college officials stressed that no final deal has been struck.

"A decision has not been finalized as to whether the school will remain at its present location or where it may be relocated to prior or after August, 1994," said William Kalaboke, president and chief executive officer of United Education and Software.

Kalaboke said a written compromise sent to Silver this week was a "compromise negotiating position."

Both Silver and McIntyre said any agreement must be approved by the city before it goes into effect.

"It's a very sad thing we have to do to be able to continue this operation," McIntyre said. United Education and Software now operates another school in Orange County.

The move could eliminate up to 60 jobs, said Brad Rosenheim, a consultant negotiating with the homeowners on behalf of the college.

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