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Torrance Neighbors Divided on Proposal for McDonald's

September 22, 1994|MARY GUTHRIE

A proposal to construct a McDonald's restaurant on Crenshaw Boulevard has divided a Torrance neighborhood.

Some residents see the golden arches as a nicely landscaped and designed property that would be a good use for a vacant lot.

Other residents foresee choking traffic, Big Mac wrappers blowing along their streets, and car and pedestrian traffic accidents.

The restaurant is proposed for 23601 Crenshaw Blvd., near 236th Street. On one side of the property is a Hof's Hut restaurant, and on the other an office building. The City Council plans to make a decision on the proposal Tuesday.

The McDonald's would attract more cars to Crenshaw Boulevard, where traffic already has increased since the opening of the Torrance Crossroads shopping mall, residents told the council last week.

"Does it increase traffic in the area? Hell, yes," said Larry D. Mikelson, an attorney whose office is in the building next to the lot.

Mikelson said a McDonald's in that location would attract pedestrian and car traffic through the parking lot of his office building, creating a hazard.

A petition signed by 34 residents said: "McDonald's will increase traffic, noise and pollution in our once-quiet neighborhood. We urge you to vote against the building of this McDonald's to keep our streets safe and quiet for our families."

But resident Leonard Kasari said a restaurant would be an improvement over a dusty, vacant lot. "I think that their use of the property will improve it."

The controversy came before the council after the city's Planning Commission approved the project Aug. 3. City Councilman George Nakano filed an appeal of the decision and brought it before the council for review.

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