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Valleywide Focus

Panel Seeks Ideas for Ventura Boulevard

August 04, 1993|SCOTT GLOVER

Seeking public input and support for a planned face lift of Ventura Boulevard, a group of San Fernando Valley architects and citizen planners are asking community leaders along the historic 17-mile stretch what they would like the boulevard to be in the year 2000 and beyond.

Armed with architectural drawings, a slide show and videos showing what other communities have done, the planners say they hope to give civic leaders some ideas, but also hope to be given some as well.

"We mainly go out to listen," said Jeff Brain, chairman of the Ventura Boulevard Specific Plan Review Board, the citizens panel charged with guiding the boulevard's overhaul. "No one knows a community better than the people who live there."

Brain added that community support is crucial to implementing the $222-million plan to curb unruly growth, ease traffic and beautify neighborhoods along the boulevard.

"It's very important that we work with the communities to make sure they get what they want," said Brain, who over the next two weeks is to help with presentations from Woodland Hills to Studio City. "We have to have support to be able to get things done."

The review board has set an Aug. 31 deadline for leaders to chose a basic concept for their community's design. By Sept. 15, the board wants communities to decide on such items as street lamps, benches and bus stops.

Although funding for the improvements is by no means certain, Brain said the deadlines will keep the process moving.

"Without deadlines, things have a habit of not happening," he said. "And by setting these, I hope we're showing communities that this is a program we are serious about."

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