Despite the pleas of area residents, the City Council this week approved the development of an 84-unit apartment complex on Budlong Avenue without requiring an environmental impact report.

During a public hearing on Tuesday, homeowners near the proposed project--to be built between 141st Place and 141st Street on property currently occupied by a commercial nursery--expressed concerns about traffic, parking, population density and crime.

But the attorney for the developer, Glendale-based Bidamar Corp., emphasized that plans for the apartment complex have been altered several times to accommodate community concern. For example, the company is donating a 50-by-315-foot strip to buffer the project from single-family homes on the west side of the development, said the attorney, former Gardena mayor Edmond J. Russ. He added that additional parking and traffic circulation planned for the complex will prevent congestion in the neighborhood, and that the "secure, walled-in" apartment building would not result in a crime increase.

Opponents, who told the council that they wanted an environmental impact report done before the project was approved, found support from Mayor Don Dear and Councilwoman Gwen Duffy. But the council waived that requirement by a 3-2 vote and by the same vote rezoned the site from single-family to multifamily use.

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