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Workshop to Debate Development Issues : Planning: Forum is intended to help decision-makers plan the future of Beverly-Fairfax, Miracle Mile and other areas.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

City planners, residents, businessmen, architects and others will gather in the deserted corridors of an old department store today for the opening session of a four-day workshop devoted to the future of the Beverly-Fairfax district, the Miracle Mile and surrounding areas.

Plans for major developments at the Farmers Market site and the nearby Park Labrea apartment complex are expected to get a good deal of attention, but Mayor Tom Bradley said the workshop will also focus on other issues.

“Individual projects cannot be looked at as if they exist in a vacuum; they are part of a community, and as such have a responsibility to local residents,” the mayor said in announcing the workshop.

“The whole community could completely change in the next few years, and that deserves attention too,” added Deborah Murphy, one of the organizers from Bradley’s office.

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Sponsored by the mayor’s office and the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the workshop is intended to help decision-makers plan the future of a region bounded by San Vicente Boulevard on the west and south, La Brea Boulevard on the east and Melrose Avenue on the north.

This is a rapidly developing, chronically congested area that already includes the Farmers Market, CBS Studios, the Beverly Center shopping mall, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Pan Pacific Park, the Park Labrea apartment complex, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the George C. Page Museum and the La Brea Tar Pits, as well as shopping districts such as the Miracle Mile, Fairfax Avenue, Melrose Avenue and La Brea Boulevard.

"(It) is a potentially unique place in the city, possessing the ingredients to become a true mixed-use urban center with a balance of housing, jobs and cultural and recreational facilities,” the organizers said in a statement.

Opening at 9 a.m. today in the abandoned Ohrbach’s store at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, the workshop is scheduled to take up issues including neighborhood preservation, the needs of the large population of senior citizens, parks, landscape design, pedestrian access, public transportation and traffic problems.

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Organizers have decided to concentrate first on defining the current state of specific areas, then create guidelines for future development.

The first priority will be Fairfax Avenue, from Wilshire Boulevard to Melrose Avenue, and the Miracle Mile.

Next will come the Cathay Circle, Beverly-Fairfax and Rancho Labrea residential neighborhoods, and the Beverly Boulevard and 3rd Street commercial strips.

Plans also call for a review of major projects, including the Farmers Market and Park Labrea proposals.

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Other projects, including the Craft and Folk Art Museum and an expansion of Cedars-Sinai, have also been listed for consideration.

After hearing two days of public comment, a team of architects, developers and other specialists, including a gerontologist and a traffic engineer, will huddle to prepare their report, which is to be presented to the Los Angeles Planning Commission one week from today.

Those invited to air their opinions in the workshop include elected officials, developers, property owners, police commanders, traffic engineers, air quality regulators, school principals, park and museum staffers, businessmen, community groups, real estate agents, rabbis, bankers, social workers and homeowner groups.

Saturday from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. has been set aside for anybody else who cares to speak.

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“Anyone with a legitimate voice in the public process is welcome and indeed encouraged to come forth and participate,” said Raymond L. Gaio, president of the architects’ group.

After the official report is presented to the Planning Commission on June 7, a public presentation and discussion has been set for 7 p.m. June 12 at the Park Labrea Community Center, 340 S. Hauser Blvd.


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