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Van Nuys : College to Drop Plans for Campus Market

August 19, 1995|DOUGLAS ALGER

Valley College officials are expected to vote next week to shelve plans for an on-campus swap meet after neighbors vehemently complained the weekend event would harm property values and worsen traffic, crime and noise.

The open-air market was to serve as a fund-raiser for the Van Nuys college's patrons association, which gives student scholarships. Members of the association's executive committee have recommended against the proposal, and the full board will vote on the issue Friday.

Abandoning the market idea "was in response to the community concerns," said Tyree Wieder, president of the college. She said such concerns were fueled by a combination of "misunderstanding and miscommunication."

"I still think the market would have been a positive experience for both the college and the neighborhood," Wieder said.

Market opponents were happy to hear of its demise.

"I think it's an example of when a community works together it can get what it wants," said Marsha Roseman, who helped collect some of the more than 300 signatures on a petition opposing the event.

Residents opposed the market since it was initially scheduled to open in June, calling campus officials "incredibly arrogant" and "insensitive" for planning the event without discussing its impact on the neighborhood.

Campus officials said the event would be a family-oriented affair with antiques, collectibles, vegetables and booths for community service groups, but some nearby residents predicted discounted items, secondhand goods and stolen merchandise would appear as well.

The dispute appears to have opened the lines of communications between the college and the surrounding neighborhood. Residents have met repeatedly with school administrators and said they plan to stay in touch.

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