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East Valley Focus

SYLMAR : Planner Backs DWP Training Facility


A city planning official has recommended approval of a permanent training facility for new and existing employees of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in a sparsely populated area of Sylmar.

City Planner Anik Charron, who acted as hearing examiner during a June 11 hearing on the project, recommended granting a conditional use permit in a 24-page report that outlined conditions of approval.

The conditions include a plan to landscape the proposed 40-acre site and improve the lighting and sidewalks along San Fernando Road.

"I'm happy about it. I feel like we're putting in something that's beneficial for the community," said John Giese, a project manager with the department.

Besides improving the infrastructure, Giese said the department plans to open up its conference room to community groups for evening meetings.

A final hearing on the department's request for a permit will be held July 8 before the city Planning Commission in Sherman Oaks.

The facility will allow the department to consolidate employee training now taking place at scattered service centers and a temporary training center just south of the proposed site on San Fernando Road. It would include a 10-acre training area with power poles and electrical transformers to give workers hands-on experience in climbing poles and splicing cable.

Construction could begin in 1994.

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