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VALLEY FOCUS | Sherman Oaks

Panel Set to Vote on Senior Housing Plan

July 21, 1998|MICHAEL BAKER

City planning commissioners will meet Thursday to decide the fate of a low-income senior housing complex proposed for the corner of Noble Avenue and Moorpark Street, where only a large, fenced-in hole in the ground has been since the late 1980s.

The complex, to be built by the nonsectarian Menorah Housing Foundation, would include 85 units and 85 parking spaces at a four-story building at 15126 Moorpark St.

The developer is seeking a conditional-use permit and zoning variance permit to build more than the allowable number of units. Under city code, the developer would be limited to 54 units and 27 parking spaces.

City Planner Dan O'Donnell, who presided over a 2 1/2-hour June public hearing at which area residents voiced their disapproval of the proposal, said he will recommend the project's approval.

Once again, a large number of residents are expected to attend the hearing to speak against the proposal, Sherman Oaks Homeowners Assn. president Richard Close said. The residents said they believe that the density above city standards would lead to parking problems, an increase in traffic and that, in general, the senior complex would not fit in with the surrounding neighborhood of single-family homes, Close said.

The site has been a point of contention ever since a developer started to construct a 43-unit condominium project in the late 1980s, only to abandon the plan because of a sluggish real estate market.

The newest proposal is the result of a compromise struck between developers and Councilman Mike Feuer after area residents objected to a plan for a 115-unit senior citizen center with 72 parking places.

On Thursday, Feuer is expected to restate his support of the project, which he has called a good balance between the need for affordable senior housing and the concerns of area residents, said Sharon Mayer, his deputy.

The housing project is the seventh item on the agenda for Thursday's meeting, scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Sherman Oaks Woman's Club, 4808 Kester Ave.

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