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Local News in Brief : Work on Mini-Mall Site Ordered Halted

Los Angeles building and safety officials have ordered grading to stop at a Silver Lake construction site after learning that the city issued a building permit in violation of a year-old ordinance prohibiting mini-malls in the area.

At a press conference at the Sunset Boulevard and Lucile Avenue site, Councilman Michael Woo said the L-shaped design outlined in chalk in the dirt was typical of mini-malls at their worst, “unsightly, inadequate parking and access, lack of landscaping, poor design and incompatible with the neighborhood.”

Woo’s pedestrian overlay zone, adopted by the City Council last August, prohibits such construction along major commercial streets in Hollywood and Silver Lake.

However, standing beside Woo and at times talking over him, Hollywood dentist Priscilla Bustamante vowed to “hire the best lawyer in Los Angeles” to make the city pay for the cost of any delay. Bustamante said the building permit was already issued when she purchased the property for $725,000.

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City official Gerald Takaki conceded that the city made an error, the result of a worker failing to notice the zoning restriction.

Woo said he felt sympathy for Bustamante but not enough to dissuade him from enforcing the ordinance. He said his office would work with Bustamante to redesign the building.


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