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Playa Vista

August 29, 1993

* Kudos to Marina del Rey lessee and would-be film critic, Jerry Epstein, for never mixing his metaphors ("Playing Playa Vista as Farce," Commentary, Aug. 16), but his review leaves me wondering if he saw the same production I did.

For almost 19 years, the organization I head, Friends of Ballona Wetlands, has been the primary advocate for the wetlands, an integral part of the property known as Playa Vista. The previous developer, the Summa Corp., proposed an intensely destructive plan that would have destroyed a vital portion of wetland, replacing it with 10- to 20-story commercial buildings, housing and a golf course. It would have run a major roadway through the rest of the marsh. We filed a lawsuit.

As a result, Summa relinquished controlling interest to Maguire Thomas Partners. After long, hard negotiations, the Friends signed a settlement agreement with MTP that saved the wetland, guaranteed $10 million in restoration funding and eliminated the roadway. As part of our agreement, the Friends have had full participation in restoration planning at Ballona. For this reason, we support the Playa Vista plan, believing it adequately safeguards the water quality and environmental resources of the wetlands.

RUTH LANSFORD

Playa del Rey

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