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Local News in Brief : Neighbors Mount Drive to Halt Apartments in Warner Center

Agroup of Woodland Hills residents launched a campaign Wednesday to block construction of a city-subsidized, 1,279-unit apartment complex in Warner Center.

Members of a Warner Center condominium association’s board of directors pledged $1,000 to help pay for a lawsuit to challenge Los Angeles’ environmental review of the huge project, which will double Warner Center’s residential population. They said they also will recruit other homeowners groups to join the lawsuit.

“It’s a harmful project that’s not going to do any good, it’s as simple as that,” said Herbert Schindler, president of the Warner Club Villas Maintenance Assn., which directs operation of a 193-unit condominium development north of the project site. “Most of the owners in our area are concerned about an influx of transient people. Being a low-income project, it will bring about a lot of parking problems, run-down vehicles, perhaps crime and whatever else goes along with it.”

The Los Angeles City Council on Friday approved $144 million in tax-exempt bonds to finance construction of the apartments in exchange for a commitment by the developer to reserve 20% of the rental units for low- and moderate-income families.

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Developer Alan Casden, whose Beverly Hills-based Casden Co. owns the 29-acre site north of the Ventura Freeway and west of Canoga Avenue, plans to begin construction this summer.

Others attending the condominium association’s meeting complained that city officials sneaked the project through without giving them a chance to protest.

But the contentions were disputed earlier Wednesday by city officials.


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