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VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | EAST COUNTY / THOUSAND OAKS

Nonprofit Firm to Push for Preschool

July 25, 1998|JASON TAKENOUCHI

A nonprofit preschool company will take another shot at a school plan when it goes before the Thousand Oaks City Council on Tuesday.

Tarzana-based Woodcrest Schools began trying to build a preschool in the Conejo Valley Shopping Center last year. The plan was on track for a routine Planning Department approval when residential opposition forced it into an open hearing.

Citing health and noise concerns, the Planning Commission rejected the proposal by a 5-0 vote in May. The company appealed the decision to the City Council, where a staff report also recommended denial of the project.

Woodcrest officials say they have changed the project to address safety concerns, including moving a planned parking area to the rear of the complex.

Project consultant Scott Lieberman said the other concerns raised during the May Planning Commission meeting--including delivery truck fumes and playground noise--already have been adequately addressed.

"We feel our use is compatible," he said. "It makes sense."

But residents who live near the proposed project say they remain skeptical of the school plan.

"It's just not a safe place for children," said Leslie Gould. "There are so many other places you could have kids play."

The preschool company has already signed a 30-year lease on the Moorpark Road site.

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