I am writing in response to your story, "Westwood Zoning Plan Unveiled."
Development of high-rise office space in the Wilshire-Westwood commercial core should not be limited by imposing a moratorium. There is tremendous demand by tenants to locate their offices there for several reasons; some of the most significant reasons include:
1. Excellent freeway access.
2. Excellent proximity to executive housing.
3. Excellent proximity to restaurants, shopping, etc. in the village area.
Los Angeles has become a dominant financial and business center of the West Coast. Imposing moratoriums such as the one described in this article would only prove to be totally unfair to developers who have already put up with a tremendous amount of extra work, setbacks and concessions to the city. Proposition U, which recently passed, has already proven to create more damage than good. One instance specifically was that the "Cozy Court" site at the southeast corner of Olympic and Sawtelle boulevards fell out of escrow because of this proposition. Had that site been able to be developed, the undesirable use that currently exists there would have been relocated.
The (zoning) plan, which has been defeated in the past, continues to be brought up by the Friends of Westwood. I question who this group is really friends of. Most specifically, the Ship's (restaurant) site, which is currently on hold because of a lawsuit by the Friends of Westwood, is at a major intersection that deserves the project (owner Kam) Hekmat has proposed for the site. Mr. Hekmat has taken into consideration problems such as traffic and parking.
I think it's time L. A. wakes up and realizes we are a major urban center. Inasmuch as a plan of growth is important to the city, a plan that goes for the jugular and virtually attempts to stop development is not wise. It's getting to the point where developers are afraid to buy land because the city and various groups are so unpredictable, they're liable to try and impose anything on a whim. It also cuts deeply into the pockets and individuals who have made an investment in the city and who plan to gain from appreciation, only to find the city has cut off all rights to develop and find their investments very much reduced in value.
We need to encourage investment and development in L. A. To do this, we must not be so sporadic. We must conceive a well thought-out plan to benefit all of us over the long haul.
ERIC S. BROIDA