Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

The Neighbors Weigh In

November 12, 2000

Nicolai Ouroussoff offered a keen perspective on the opposing interests that have set a group of Pacific Palisades homeowners against the classical amphitheater planned for the renovated Getty Villa ("Culture? Not in Our Backyard," Nov. 5). The theater is integral to the overall plan to bring classical drama and music together with the visual arts in the Getty collection, which Judge Dzintra I. Janavs sadly failed to recognize in her ruling against the theater.

There are many homeowners in Pacific Palisades like myself who support the plan for the theater wholeheartedly and who prize the Getty's civic generosity. The communal benefit to our urban life should prevail over the self-interest of those homeowners who refuse to acknowledge the reasonable measures the Getty has taken to eliminate disturbances to its neighbors.

I appreciate Ouroussoff for sorting out these issues with such clarity.

KIRSTEN GRIMSTAD

Pacific Palisades

*

Many neighbors support the Getty Villa renovation plans, except for the amphitheater and the additional parking it requires. It is the Getty that has been unwilling to compromise, not the neighbors. On every occasion the Getty has consistently stated that the amphitheater is not negotiable, period. Virtually all of the "concessions" were mandated by the city, not volunteered by the Getty. You should also note that the theater's capacity has not been reduced, just the number of people that the Getty can legally seat. As Ouroussoff points out, the Getty has never let legalities get in the way in the past.

I hope we can now get down to a real negotiation process that will result in a win-win for everyone involved. I look forward to having the Getty open again.

JIM DYER

Malibu

*

It is an enormous leap to claim, as Ouroussoff does, that the removal of an outdoor theater, in a residential neighborhood, would have a significant effect on the potential "binding element in the city's overall civic fabric." Making this claim is an exaggerated example of politicizing architecture.

This was a populist victory in the sense that zoning laws need to be enforced. Our ideal goals may not be very different, but to get there each side has to respectively recognize the other's point of view. Reducing four years of courageous work to stand up against the power and influence of the multibillion-dollar Getty Trust and the city of Los Angeles to "NIMBY" name-calling will do nothing to help find a compromise that both sides can live with.

Art, high ideals and money are being used as power to subjugate citizens. And if opposing this is "paranoia," we are proud of it.

BEN and BARBARA KOHN

Pacific Palisades

*

Although traffic congestion on Pacific Coast Highway is indeed a real issue (just ask anyone who lives in the area), the legal fact is that the outdoor amphitheater did not fit within the museum's original mandate. Why should an exception be made for the Getty Trust? The museum can continue to thrive and be appreciated without such an enormous intrusion into a fragile residential area. Without pressure from homeowners groups, the Getty Villa could continue to expand as it has in the past without "bothering to obtain legal status."

Neighbors in the area were living there for years prior to the villa, and they are the ones who are held hostage to those forces that arrive later and claim to be concerned only with public welfare. Think about it.

DAWN STURGILL

Pacific Palisades

*

Forty-five performances per year is more than "occasional performances"; it is nearly one performance per week, and because the performances will be outdoors, they will no doubt be more frequent than once a week during the warmer months. Furthermore, just because some may not wish to have an amphitheater within a couple of hundred feet of where they live does not mean they do not recognize the importance of culture "as a critical component of the urban experience."

Many things in Los Angeles contribute to undermining "the communal fabric that is the essence of urban life." Objecting to a new outdoor amphitheater in a residential neighborhood is not one of them.

BRENDA THEVENY

Pacific Palisades

*

Each year the neighborhoods of this area have welcomed 400,000 visitors to the Getty Villa and hundreds of thousands of visitors to the state beaches and state parks on each side. Access to these sites is via the congested Pacific Coast Highway. It would be difficult to find a more inclusive neighborhood.

In a rational world, the Getty Trust would return to the original mandate of J. Paul Getty by keeping the Getty Villa as a repository of his art collection, the city would uphold its zoning codes, and our city would not be ruled by lawsuits.

SHIRLEY HAGGSTROM

Pacific Palisades

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|