More than 100 residents and business owners crammed the Sherman Oaks Glendale Federal Bank on Wednesday night to glimpse the Ventura Boulevard of the future--a proposal dubbed the Sherman Oaks Streetscape Plan.
Two visions of the Sherman Oaks stretch of Ventura Boulevard were unveiled at the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Assn. meeting--one sleek and contemporary, the other classic and traditional.
Although preferences for one plan or the other were not registered, "we got a very, very positive response," said Mikie Maloney, the association's appointee to the Ventura Boulevard-Cahuenga Boulevard Specific Plan Review Board, which is overseeing the project.
The conceptual Streetscape Plan addresses the overall look of the boulevard, from what varieties of trees to plant to what light poles to install to design standards for new businesses, according to Jeff Brain, chairman of the review board.
A plan reflecting the contemporary or the traditional approach will be drafted in March. The City Council is expected to consider the plan within six months.
The Sherman Oaks Streetscape Plan will cost about $2.5 million over five years and be funded by a nominal Business Improvement District fee levied on businesses. The cost breaks down to about a penny per square foot monthly. A 3,000-square-foot business, for example, would pay $30 monthly, Brain said.
The Sherman Oaks plan, developed over the last two years, is part of the larger specific plan that incorporates similar plans along 17 miles of the thoroughfare in Encino, Studio City, Tarzana and Woodland Hills. Each community will have its own theme and style.
"Ventura Boulevard is the main street of the Valley," Brain said. "As goes Ventura Boulevard, symbolically, so goes the Valley."