Acting in the absence of public protest, the Los Angeles City Council Tuesday approved construction of an office development of up to eight three-story buildings next to the Sepulveda Basin.
The 12-0 vote sent the zoning change needed for the project, from agricultural to commercial, to Mayor Tom Bradley for approval.
Councilwoman Joy Picus had earlier withdrew her opposition to the project, situated in her district, after developer George Moss scaled back his original proposal. The original plan called for six-story buildings and 315,000 square feet of office space, which has since been scaled back to three-story buildings and 210,800 square feet of office space. The project will be built at the southwest corner of Balboa and Victory boulevards.
At a hearing earlier this year on the original proposal, critics argued that it would would spoil the view of the mountains from the basin and lead to further commercial development around the park. A hearing examiner for the city Planning Commission had opposed the project, predicting it would clog streets.
Construction in the basin, one of the San Fernando Valley’s largest remaining strips of unspoiled greenbelt, has been the subject of intense controversy. Environmentalists and neighbors staved off previous proposals for a race track and Olympic facilities.
But the four-acre site of the proposed office buildings, north of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Center, is privately owned. The property, although now zoned for agricultural use, has been targeted for commercial use by the Reseda-West Van Nuys land use plan prepared by the city after community meetings.
The developer will be required to buffer the south side of the office complex from the park using heavy shrubbery and trees.