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VALLEY FOCUS | Canoga Park

Chick's Panel Backs Drive-Thru Pharmacy

January 30, 1998|SYLVIA L. OLIANDE

Plans by Walgreen Co. to build a 24-hour drive-thru pharmacy in Canoga Park got a warm reception from members of Councilwoman Laura Chick's Neighborhood Planning Advisory Council.

Although some members had concerns about lighting and the safety of drugstore employees during night hours, the panel overwhelmingly supported the project at a meeting Wednesday night, said Ken Bernstein, Chick's planning deputy.

"It will provide a convenient source for prescription drugs, particularly in the middle of the night," he said. "That was one reason the [council] members viewed it as a positive proposal."

Walgreen Co. plans to build a 1,900-square-foot, free-standing facility on an approximately 50,000-square-foot vacant lot on the southeast corner of Saticoy Street and Topanga Canyon Boulevard. It is expected to have two drive-thru windows to fill prescriptions and sell over-the-counter medicines.

During its application review, Neighborhood Planning Advisory Council members suggested that the store's walk-in counter be closed at 10 p.m. to decrease the risk of late-night robberies.

Barry Burnell, a planning consultant working for Walgreen, said the company will continue to push for a full 24-hour operating conditional-use permit, but might consider altering the hours to accommodate community concerns.

The panel also was concerned over whether the store's exterior lighting might disturb tenants in a nearby apartment complex.

Burnell said the lights would point directly onto the pharmacy building and not affect the apartments. He added that lights are necessary for security reasons.

If approved, the Walgreen store will be the second in the Valley--another was approved for Van Nuys, at Saticoy and Louise Avenue.

The company's application is expected to go to the zoning administration for its consideration within about a month, city officials said.

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