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SAN FERNANDO : City to Address La Rinda Plaza

October 14, 1994|ED BOND

San Fernando officials have scheduled a hearing Monday on La Rinda Plaza, a shopping center that has been the focus of complaints from neighbors about cruising and crime.

The center was built on a site that is partly in the city of Los Angeles, which in July imposed a series of conditions on the plaza to deter teen-age cruisers from using the shopping plaza parking lot as a meeting place. Plaza operators installed gates to block off entrances, improved lighting and gave police space to open a substation at the plaza.

But the plaza management appealed other conditions that would have forced stores to close before 9:30 p.m. and required removal of the public phones at the center. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Board of Zoning Appeals lifted these restrictions, allowing stores to stay open until 10 p.m., and the public telephones to stay.

The zoning board also ruled that plaza management did not have to hire armed guards to deter the cruisers.

San Fernando officials have pledged to work with Los Angeles and impose a similar set of conditions on the plaza. But the local officials had been waiting for the results of the Los Angeles zoning appeal before acting.

Now, San Fernando City Council members must decide what restrictions they will place on businesses in their portion of the plaza. Businesses in the San Fernando portion of the mall, including restaurants, a discount food store and a liquor store, are open later than those in the Los Angeles portion.

Residents have said the cruising problem, in which hundreds of teen-agers gathered in the parking lot and surrounding area on Fridays, Saturdays and especially Sunday nights, has been largely eliminated since gates were installed to block off the parking lot at night.

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