West Hills NC

West Hills Neighborhood Council

WHNC seeks density reductions in Lederer housing project

Posted on 08/07/16

West Hills Neighborhood Council

A resolution seeking dramatic reductions in density of a proposed housing development was presented by WHNC Zoning & Planning Chair Charlene Rothstein at a hearing of the City of Los Angeles Planning Department on July 28.
Since 2012, developers Michael Harris and David Spiegel have been seeking approval to build large-scale projects on the south side of Sherman Way at Woodlake Avenue. Their initial proposal, for senior housing and an assisted-living facility, was set aside in court after neighbors argued that its scale was too large and that a previous approval failed to comply with proper procedures. The developers said they are appealing the court’s decision.
In the meantime, the developers have submitted plans for two side-by-side developments totaling 51 homes, and this too has met with opposition by the neighbors.
The letter submitted in July 28 by Charlene Rothstein — who also serves as the West Hills Neighborhood Council’s vice-president and co-chair — supported the neighbors’ request to scale back the size of the developments. A revised version of the letter was approved at a meeting pf the WHNC Zoning & Planning Committee on Aug. 9
The revised text of the letter follows:

Aug. 9, 2016

Dear Mr. Netburn:
On Aug. 9, 2016, at a joint meeting of the West Hills Neighborhood Council Zoning and Planning Committee and the West Hills Neighborhood Council Board of Directors, the following revised compromise resolution concerning proposed developments on lots at 7000 Woodlake Ave. and 23200 Sherman Way was approved by a unanimous vote:

Be it resolved that we consider the proposed densities for these projects — 23200 Sherman Way (West Parcel), VTT-73714SL, APSCSV-2015-4684-ZC; and 7000 Woodlake Ave. (East Parcel), VTT-73814-SL, CPC-2015-4680-GPAZC — to be excessively high and failing to match the character of the surrounding neighborhoods.

As currently planned, these projects fail to properly address the safety of residents due to lack of sidewalks, inadequate parking, insufficient width of streets and lack of play areas. They also would take away too much precious open space and negatively affect the neighbors’ quality of life.

The densities of these projects should not exceed the densities that would be allowed according to the general plan without application of the Small Lot Ordinance.

We also urge compliance with the staff report that recommends:

  1. A 15-foot rear-yard setback along Sherman Way
  2. A 15-foot setback along the western side of Woodlake Avenue
  3. Entrance moved to the south, away from the intersection of Sherman Way and Woodlake Avenue
  4. A 26-foot wide two-way street with an ADA-compliant sidewalk on at least one side of the road — for the safety of children and adults
  5. House plans redesigned to articulate the rear wall to avoid the appearance of one long wall parallel to Bell Creek
  6. Larger turning radius to allow easier access for Fire Department and Police Department vehicles
  7. Driveways on the east parcel are shown as 15 feet long as required by the underlying zone; our preference is to have 20-foot-long driveways to allow cars to park in front of the garage doors, allowing for adequate parking for families with young drivers
  8. Minimum 20-foot-long driveways fore the homes on the west parcel, allowing for adequate parking for families with young drivers
  9. All setbacks to comply with the underlying zone (exception: those houses with rear yards facing the historic structure)

In addition, we strongly recommend dedicating space on both sides of the property to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), as outlined in comments made by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in its letter of June 15, 2016.

Furthermore, the committee voted unanimously on Aug. 9 to support the attached compromise proposal for 22 dwellings on the west parcel and nine dwellings on the east parcel.


Bill Rose
Co-Chair, WHNC Zoning & Planning Committee

Charlene Rothstein
Vice President and Co-Chair, West Hills Neighborhood Council
Co-Chair, WHNC Zoning & Planning Committee

Dan Brin
President and Co-Chair, West Hills Neighborhood Council

Download whnc z&p letter Aug 9.pdf

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