Developer Jerry Katell on Friday said he was pleased with the recent Los Angeles Planning Commission recommendation that he be allowed to build a townhome development on Warner Ridge.
On Thursday, Katell won preliminary approval of his plan to build town houses, however, the agency scaled back the residential project from 471 to 454 units.
"It shouldn't make or break a project," Katell said. "We are very pleased with the decision and are eager to get started." Construction would start early next year, he said.
Still, Katell said he will try to get the larger project restored when the Los Angeles City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee considers it on May 4. But he said he will try to work with the scaled-down version if his effort fails.
"We'll live with their decision either way," he added.
The developer had previously won city permission to build a 690,000- square-foot commercial and office project on the 16-acre site at De Soto Avenue and Oxnard Street.
Planning Director Con Howe said a reduced residential project is consistent with other residential development in the area.
"That density is identical to the density of the previously approved project adjacent to it," Howe said.
Gordon Murley, president of the Woodland Hills Homeowners Assn., said his group prefers a residential development, but still wants to make sure the project does not worsen traffic congestion in the area.
"We just want to make sure the public is protected," he said.
The city lost a lawsuit filed by a former owner of the property who claimed the city improperly tried to block a commercial project on the site. The court ordered the city to allow a mixed-use development on the property.
"Something is going to go in there," Murley said. "We don't think it's the best of all projects going in but it's better than commercial."