Denial of View Park Project Lauded : Opponents Vow to Press Fight Over Housing Plan

Times Staff Writer

Assemblywoman Gwen Moore (D-Los Angeles) said Thursday that homeowners in View Park, Windsor Hills and Baldwin Hills will continue their opposition to large housing projects to replace housing demolished for the Century Freeway.

Moore, who lives in the area, made her comments after the county's Regional Planning Commission on Wednesday rejected plans for a $7-million, 70-unit housing project in View Park for low- and moderate-income people.

Moorson Partnership, the developer behind the proposed project, "very definitely" will appeal the decision to the County Board of Supervisors, said Bernard L. Belonsky, a partner in the Moorson firm.

"If they do appeal we will oppose the project again," Moore said. "We consider the housing project to be incompatible in every way with our community."

The 17-mile, $1.7-billion Century Freeway, which is in various stages of construction, will stretch from Norwalk to Los Angeles International Airport. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 1993.

In clearing a path for the freeway, the state has removed 7,000 housing units and plans to replace at least 3,400 of them. The proposed 70-unit project was part of the replacement program.

Moore was among 200 people from View Park, Windsor Hills and Baldwin Hills who attended the Planning Commission meeting Wednesday.

Opponents of the View Park project maintain that it would lower property values, create geological hazards and increase crime in three of the most affluent black communities in Los Angeles, where homes range in price from $200,000 to $500,000. The project would be located partly on a hillside near a fault line.

They also contend that the state was placing too many low- and moderate-income housing units in their communities, claiming that 455 of the first 1,100 units are proposed for their area.

"There is no question that we are being asked to accept more housing than other communities along the freeway," Moore said.

A source within the state Century Freeway Housing program, who did not wish to be identified, said there have only been 305 units proposed for the three communities. And only 55 of them have been approved and are under construction.

"The way the protests are going, we may not get anymore," the source said. "Everybody seemed to be in favor of the replacement program until the apartments are built a couple of blocks from their own homes."

Moore has introduced legislation in the Assembly to have the state investigate why so many housing units are being proposed for View Park, Baldwin Hills and Windsor Hills.

'Cumulative Impact'

"We certainly support replenishment of our housing stock in Los Angeles," Moore said. "But we want homes and town houses, not huge apartment buildings whose architectural style does not blend into our communities."

She said an important feature of her legislation would require that the state and county consider all projects planned for the area instead of dealing with them one at a time. "The projects have a cumulative impact on the community, so they should be dealt with in a cumulative manner," Moore said.

John Shea, a county planner, urged the commission to reject the View Park project for many reasons, including its size, lack of access and parking problems.

"Parking and access are, at best, minimal," Shea said in a staff report.

He also said that "because of their bulk and site topography, the buildings would be quite prominent and any deficiency in appearance would not be adequately mitigated by landscaping."

Belonsky said he appreciated the concerns expressed by neighbors but said there is a need for affordable housing in the area.

"We knew that there would be tremendous opposition to the housing," he said. "But at the same time, we believe we have the right to develop affordable housing needed in the area."

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