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Artist Sketches for Streetscapes Win Approval


Streetscapes, an ambitious plan to attract more pedestrian traffic along Ventura Boulevard, has inched closer toward reality with the approval of artist sketches for the busy thoroughfare.

The Ventura Boulevard Specific Plan Review Board accepted the designs late Tuesday. Although the project is not yet funded, officials hope that the designs offer a first glimpse of how the boulevard might look one day.

Carol Robinson, a landscape architect representing Woodland Hills, presented her sketches and said her goal is to give the area a more rural feeling through the use of more greenery.

"We want to have a more rural feel than urban feel," Robinson said. That will mean planting more trees and incorporating them with three distinct proposed districts--historical, educational and center city.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday March 12, 1994 Valley Edition Metro Part B Page 3 Column 5 Metro Desk 1 inches; 26 words Type of Material: Correction
Erroneous cost--A March 3 story in The Times incorrectly reported the estimated cost of the Ventura Specific Plan's Streetscape program. The program is expected to cost $17 million.

Jeff Brain, chairman of the review board, said the first work on Streetscapes probably won't come until 1995, but "a lot of things have to happen before then. We are in a very preliminary stage." Streetscapes is predicted to cost $100 million.

Representatives from five communities along the boulevard, including homeowners and business people, have worked on the project for six months. Architects have been donating their time to create a different identity for each area, from Woodland Hills to Universal City, Brain said.

Gregory Nelson, an architect representing Tarzana, said he plans to increase the number of trees in his area. "Edward Rice Burroughs founded Tarzana and was the creator of Tarzan," he said. "So we want to create a jungle-like area." He also proposed using brick paving, perpendicular street parking on the street and flowers to make the area more "pedestrian friendly."

Representatives of Sherman Oaks said they plan to divert traffic away from earthquake-stricken areas.

The architects will now take their plans to homeowner groups and chambers of commerce for input.

Revisions will be made at every stage and deputes from the Los Angeles City Council will be updated, Brain said. Once the planning stage is complete, the project will be subject to formal approval by the City Council.

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