Bill Boyarsky's article gives the public not an accurate picture of the current situation facing the area, but rather paints a mirage.
Boyarsky is right about the cost of the project itself, $44 million. What he does not mention is that the cost of this project is being compensated for by added property tax revenues from newer buildings, as well as added revenues that will come about when more of the retail centers open their doors for business. This, plus the fact that a great number of the housing developments now under way or scheduled to begin in the near future are slated to serve lower income people, helps ensure that the area will not become financially out of reach for most people.
Boyarsky speaks fondly of the quaint shops that line Lankershim Boulevard. What he does not mention is that most people are terrified to walk on that street for fear of being attacked.
He also cites the committee's way of conducting elections. The response to that is simple: Run for a seat. Elections are in February. You're eligible to run or vote as long as you live, own property or operate a business in the redevelopment area.
Letting Magnolia stay Magnolia would only help ensure that affordable housing, so badly needed in the affordable housing-starved San Fernando Valley, would go unprovided. It would help ensure the demise of what was once the Valley's most vibrant retail area. And, most importantly, it would put a knife in the backs of those who enjoy North Hollywood and want to help save it.
SCOTT B. EPSTEIN