Universal City : MCA Tells Neighbors Area Plan Is Coming

The company that owns Universal Studios will begin putting together a blueprint for future development in Universal City in a couple of months, according to members of MCA Inc.'s Citizens Advisory Group.

At the group's meeting on Tuesday night, company representatives gave members an overview of how the long-awaited Community Plan--the premier planning document for Universal City--will be developed during the coming months, according to Todd Ellison, a member of the panel and of the Hollywood Knolls Community Club.

No actual specifics of what Universal plans to construct were provided. The plan will outline how MCA intends to use its land in the future and will address traffic issues.

The Citizens Advisory Group was formed by MCA to provide a communication link with its neighbors. Its members include representatives of area homeowners groups, including the Studio City, Toluca Lake and Cahuenga Pass associations.

"Here in this pass, there's never been any kind of organized planning," said Dan Riffe, a member of the committee and of the Hollywood Knolls homeowners association. "We're happy that they've begun the process."

MCA representative Christine Hanson said the purpose of the meeting was to inform committee members of the process by which the plan will be created, and that the company will make information about the plan available to the public at a future date.

MCA officials also talked about, but did not define, the timeline for putting together the plan, Riffe said.

"A planning process like this typically takes a year, year and a half, two years," he estimated.

According to Riffe, company representatives said the process will include various local, state and federal agencies including Caltrans and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

The main concern of community members, Ellison and Riffe said, is traffic in the Cahuenga Pass. The entertainment giant recognizes that it contributes to traffic in the area, and the plan should provide ways to relieve congestion, Riffe said.

"We get a lot of traffic here every day, " Riffe said. "(MCA) is a huge landowner. It has a great potential effect on how things go here."

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