The Culver City Council this week amended a permit approved by the Planning Commission for the remodeling and expansion of the Studio Village Shopping Center.
Councilman Steven Gourley had appealed the commission’s approval of a conditional-use permit to allow residents to voice their concerns about possible problems with traffic, noise and maintenance at the center.
S & P/Maier Brewing Co., the center’s owner, had also asked the City Council to reconsider the commission’s decision requiring the center to take down pole signs in exchange for wall signs.
But the council denied the developer’s appeal. As part of the center’s redesign, the developer will have to replace the two pole signs along Jefferson Boulevard with one wall sign.
Several people asked the City Council on Monday night to remove the center’s two exits on Sawtelle Boulevard.
“As soon as that mall takes off, someone’s going to get killed,” said Thomas Easton, who wrote a letter to the Planning Commission. “I hope it’s not my kid.”
However, the mall owner argued that removing the Sawtelle exits would make traffic inside the center more dangerous, and would impede access by fire trucks. The Council allowed the exits, but required the developer to provide enough space on the property so trucks would not block Sawtelle as they exit.
Residents were able to persuade the council to limit deliveries to no earlier than 8 a.m. on weekdays, and require high walls abutting residential areas to help reduce noise from trucks. A request to limit operating hours, and a motion by Gourley to require a $100,000 deposit from the owner as a maintenance guarantee were rejected.
The approval of a conditional-use permit for the 21-year-old shopping center ended more than a year and a half of negotiations between the city and S & P/Maier Brewing Co. The center will be expanded from 136,000 square feet to 212,000 square feet, slightly larger than the original size before a fire in the early 1970s, said Jay Cunningham, city planning director.
The expansion will bring in a Von’s Pavilion supermarket and will include changing all storefronts to Mediterranean-style facades.