Boyarsky's Magnolia Column Criticized

On Sept. 12, Bill Boyarsky wrote a column critical of North Hollywood's redevelopment titled A., Let Magnolia Be Magnolia."

On one hand, Boyarsky implied that businesses on Magnolia Boulevard do not deserve any redevelopment effort or resources. He equated the Community Redevelopment Agency's North Hollywood project with the downtown L .A. CRA project, a totally invalid comparison because North Hollywood is a bedroom community and downtown L. A. is anything but.

Secondly, he stated that some members of the community were being abused by the CRA plan to develop a half-block portion of Magnolia Boulevard for a shopping center, in particular a supermarket.

He did not point out that there is no supermarket in downtown North Hollywood. I have received countless requests from members of the community in need of a neighborhood market, from people who do not have cars, seniors and people of humble means.

Boyarsky did not address the larger community's needs. Instead, he zeroed in on one family that may be displaced so that some 200 senior citizens across the street in Magnolia Towers and the rest of the neighborhood can finally have access to an essential service.

He did not ask how much the family has enjoyed in terms of property value increases because of the redevelopment effort. Instead, he mentioned the humble surroundings of the family's existence: "The yard is littered with old cars and motorcycles . . . they also raise a few chickens." He states that the family is critical of the CRA offer of $232,000 for their property.

I live just two blocks from that location and $232,000 is more than I can get for my house, which doesn't have the amenities of rusty cars and chickens.

What's so troubling is this column's blatant attempt to make the CRA the bad guy once again. The market is extremely important to hundreds of people in North Hollywood. The Community Master Plan has had a supermarket for many years. The time to build a market is now.

Boyarsky implied that the CRA should not interfere with the North Hollywood community, that neighborhood "transformations sometimes just happen naturally in cities."

In North Hollywood, the market, unfortunately, hasn't happened naturally. And frankly, without the redevelopment process, it probably wouldn't for quite some time.


North Hollywood

Eitner is executive vice president of the Universal City-North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce .

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