Boyarsky's Magnolia Column Criticized

I take exception to the Bill Boyarsky column regarding the North Hollywood redevelopment project.

Councilman Joel Wachs did not push the redevelopment project through the City Council. As his chief deputy at the time and for 18 years, I speak from hands-on knowledge and association with the program.

The North Hollywood Community Plan Advisory Committee, the North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce--a sincere group of local business people--and the general community all requested and supported the proposed revitalization effort. Councilman Wachs obtained council support for the first such effort in the Valley, and one of the largest such undertakings in the city, because it was a community-supported program.

Yes, Bill, there were differences of opinion, then as now. But through direction from Councilman Wachs, guidance from CRA and scrupulous--oh what scrupulous--review from the residents of the community (and they are not just something called a Project Area Committee, as you so unjustly label them) a workable communitywide program evolved.

Check the facts: Public works improvements, low-cost loans for residential rehab, new residential in-fill projects and now commercial core revitalization; Hewlett Packard, senior citizen housing, the Academy Venture--a long-term program including a hotel, additional retail and office space, and residential units for low-income families.

Councilman Wachs and now Councilman Ferraro deserve a "well done" for their initial and continued support of a valuable and viable community-supported effort.

HOWARD S. RAPHAEL

Sherman Oaks

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