Developer Asks Board Member for Retraction

Developers of a proposed $2-billion housing and commercial project in Porter Ranch are asking Los Angeles school board member Julie Korenstein to publicly retract comments that she reportedly made last week about the firm, according to a letter released by the company Wednesday.

But Korenstein said she will make no public retraction because she did not make the comments. "I have nothing to apologize for," she said.

Officials of Porter Ranch Development Co. alleged that Korenstein told people at a May 3 meeting that the firm has not paid any state-mandated development fees to the Los Angeles Unified School District.

"I must demand that you make a public correction of your misstatements," said the letter to Korenstein from Robert M. Wilkinson, project coordinator for Porter Ranch Development.

Wilkinson said in letters to Korenstein that the firm has paid more than $1 million in development fees and plans to pay another $15 million in fees over the next 20 years if the project is approved. The firm is seeking permission to build 3,000 homes and 7.5 million square feet of commercial development.

Korenstein said she recalls saying the company "might have paid very little to the district" in an earlier phase of the Porter Ranch development. The school board determined last year that the company was exempt from about $500,000 in school construction fees charged to a portion of the project because work began before the applicable state law took effect in January, 1987.

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