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Builder Scales Down Plan to Build Homes on Hillside


A developer has agreed to scale back his plan to build homes atop a scenic hillside in Echo Park, ending a three-year dispute with local residents who have fought to preserve the site.

"In an effort to avoid further fights and delays, I think it was an incentive for us to compromise and reach some consensus," said Benjamin M. Reznik, an attorney for West Los Angeles developer Mark Kaufman. "We can move forward now and just concentrate on the project itself," Reznik said.

The compromise calls for Kaufman, general partner of Avon Terrace Homes Ltd., to construct four duplexes or five houses on 10,000 square feet of space about 100 feet below the top of Kite Hill at 1450 Avon Place, city officials said.

Kaufman had proposed cutting off the top of the hill to make room for seven houses on 45,000 square feet.

A compromise approved Sept. 14 by the City Council limits the buildings' size and requires the developer to donate the rest of the property--54,000 square feet--to the city for public use.

Susan Borden, a member of a committee organized to protect Kite Hill, was pleased with the outcome. "Chopping up hills is something I think finally officials have recognized is a real shame," Borden said.

The new construction site, she said, "will be less intrusive. . . . we feel that it's a good compromise."

Reznik, who declined to elaborate on the project's cost, said groundbreaking could begin within a year of public hearings on dividing the lots.

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