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STUDIO CITY : CBS Expansion Plan Gains Approval

The community named for its contribution to the entertainment industry is one step closer to having an even bigger reason to call itself Studio City.

City zoning officials have granted approval for a major expansion of the 30-acre CBS compound on Radford Avenue that will add seven sound stages to the network’s facilities.

Associate Zoning Administrator William E. Lillenberg granted to CBS on Friday a conditional use for expansion on an 11.5-acre site just north of the network’s current lots.

The land, already owned by CBS and zoned for residential use, was partially used for parking.

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Addressing community concerns, the network agreed to take steps to lessen the impact of traffic, noise and parking at the new facility, including building an internal bridge in its project area to reduce traffic on residential streets.

Scott Lorimer, a member of the Studio City Residents Assn., said CBS has acted on the majority of the community’s concerns about the expansion plans.

“I think, by and large, CBS has been a good neighbor,” Lorimer said. “I wish all development efforts in Studio City could go like this one.”

The 245,000 square-foot, 10-building plan approved by the Zoning Administration includes four 18,000-square-foot sound stages 50 feet high and three sound stages 60 feet high.

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In addition, the $30-million plan includes 1,202 parking spaces and the private bridge that spans the Los Angeles River to connect the new facilities to the existing ones.

CBS has said that the studio facilities will be used for its own productions as well as for other studios and producers. Currently, about two-thirds of the shows produced at Studio Center’s 16 sound stages are non-CBS shows for other networks.

Michael L. Klausman, president of CBS Studio Center, said the network hopes to begin the first phase of construction as early as November.

“We’re very happy,” he said. “Everyone has worked very well as a team.”

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The approval is subject to appeal through Aug. 29.


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