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CBS Agrees to Soften Impact of Center’s Expansion

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

CBS has agreed to take 15 steps to soften the impact of traffic, noise and parking caused by a major expansion of its Studio Center facility, at the request of the Studio City Residents Assn., according to association President Tony Lucente.

Among the measures is an agreement by the television network to build an internal bridge in its project area--which would reduce traffic on nearby residential streets--before it proceeds with the second stage of the project.

On July 8, a city zoning administrator indicated that he would grant CBS a conditional use permit to build the commercial development on residentially zoned land, and to exceed height limits on Radford Avenue.

The network wants to build seven new sound stages on 11.5 acres across the Los Angeles River from its 30-acre property at Radford Avenue and Ventura Boulevard. The $30-million, 245,000-square-foot project includes dressing rooms, storage areas, production support areas and 1,202 parking spaces.

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Lucente said that his association submitted a list of requested traffic-, noise- and parking-mitigation measures to CBS after the zoning hearing, and that the network agreed to virtually all of them.

Among the measures agreed to by CBS:

* The network will build a major parking structure before, rather than during, the third construction phase, which will make it less likely that employees and studio tenants will park on city streets.

* A 6-foot-high berm landscaped with 15- to 21-foot-tall trees will be erected on the development’s eastern border to screen the development from residents across the Tujunga Wash. A landscaped berm with a minimum height of 3 feet will be built on the project’s western border.

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* The city will review the project after each phase before giving CBS the go-ahead to proceed to the next phase.

Alan Schuman, who represented CBS in its meetings with residents and City Councilman Joel Wachs’ office, said some of the items were things that CBS had intended to do from the start.

“We all feel very good that today businesses and homeowners are able to sit down at a table and talk and, with the help of the City Council office, work these things out,” Schuman said.

“They’ve always been very open to our comments and feedback,” Lucente said. “It’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t do this earlier, but it is a very large and complex project. They’ve been very positive to work with.”

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