Over the objections of several dozen Lunada Bay residents, the Palos Verdes Estates City Council Tuesday voted 3 to 2 to approve a grading permit that will allow Chris Caras to proceed with plans to double the size of his commercial building in the Lunada Bay shopping area.
Residents complained that the development would increase traffic, noise, security and drainage problems. The project conforms to the building and zoning codes, and Mayor James Kinney told opponents that the council could not "take away somebody's property rights. Just because everybody's against it doesn't mean that we can be against it."
However, the council is imposing 21 conditions on the permit, including a stipulation that the structure not be used as a restaurant or for video games.
"I don't think there's any question that the neighborhood is against the building," Kinney said. "I wish it were as simple as that. We have a commercial zone that abuts a residential zone. We don't have the power to change it."
Councilwoman Ruth Gralow voted against the permit because she opposed a council requirement that a 6-foot noise-reducing wall be built along an alley on city property. Also opposing the project was Councilman Edward Ritscher.