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VALLEY FOCUS | Woodland Hills

Permit OKd for Extended-Stay Hotel

August 13, 1998|SUE FOX

The city has approved a conditional-use permit for construction of an extended-stay hotel on Ventura Boulevard, across the street from Taft High School.

The hotel, proposed by Florida-based Extended Stay America, would consist of two buildings with 211 guest rooms for businesspeople staying an average of two weeks at a time. The company expects to serve businesses in Warner Center.

"They actually revised the project to be more consistent with what our office wanted," said Linda Bernhardt, planning deputy for Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski, who represents the area.

The hotel company agreed to reduce the height of buildings from 67 to 48 feet, Bernhardt said. It seeks to build a tower that would rise 8 feet above the buildings.

At a public hearing on the proposal Monday, Emily Gabel, a city zoning administrator who OKd the conditional-use permit, said she would approve the plan with conditions. The city will establish the exact conditions in writing within a few weeks, Bernhardt said.

No one testified against the proposal. Members of the Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization have met with hotel representatives several times, said Gordon Murley, the group's president.

"If they try to improve the crappiness of Ventura Boulevard, then we'll support them, as long as it makes sense," Murley said.

Extended Stay has 249 hotels nationwide and another 96 under construction, said Mark Neumann, a real estate manager for the company. There are six Extended Stay hotels in Southern California and six others under construction, he said.

Before the Woodland Hills hotel can be built, Extended Stay must secure a zoning change on the long-vacant property--situated on the north side of Ventura Boulevard between Winnetka Avenue and Del Moreno Drive--and a specific plan amendment.

Daniel O'Donnell, the city Planning Commission hearing examiner, said the commission has scheduled a Sept. 24 public hearing to consider these requests.

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