Although your Sam Hall Kaplan column of July 21, ("Playing Politics With a Landmark") cries for a scathing rebuttal, a presentation of the facts, which directly contradict those in the article, can say more in defense of Jan Development Co.'s actions vis-a-vis the "Highland-Camrose Affair" than any dissertation on my part.
You stated that two weeks ago, when we were exempted from the moratorium by the City Council, that we took this as a sign to apply for demolition permits. Not so, we have been in possession of demolition permits since February, 1985, more than two months prior to the "Historical Designation."
Contrary to the tone of your column which implied that we capriciously pursued our development plans . . . we spent eight months in escrow carefully examing every foreseeable development problem, as well as consulting with all city departments (building and safety, transportation and fire, and the office of Councilwoman Peggy Stevenson), and proceeded with their encouragement.
As for the tenants who accuse us of ignoring their calls, we can only cite the numerous occasions we have requested the opportunity to meet with them to explain and discuss the project, only to have our invitations declined. At one point early on, a few tenants attended. Those who cooperated with us, we happily assisted in relocating. The remaining vocal tenants who are inciting our neighbors, have been living rent-free since January of 1985. Small wonder they fight so fiercely to preserve their residences' dubious status as a historical landmark.
You claim that one trust deed on one parcel indicated the price we must have paid for the entire site. In fact this trust deed relates to only one part of the overall development site and reflects the loan on this segment, not its purchase price.
Czuker is vice president of Jan Development Co.