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Residents Seek to Limit Warner Ridge Project

Neighbors of the controversial Warner Ridge development urged city officials Friday to approve only a residential project, rather than give the developer a commercial option.

At a public hearing sponsored by the Los Angeles Planning Department at the Sherman Oaks Woman’s Club, Jerry Katell, president of Katell Properties, repeated his request to be given a choice between a 471-townhome residential development and a commercial development.

Although residents have complained that the residential project would be too dense, Katell defended the density as a minimum necessary to be economically competitive. Under existing zoning, 800 to 1,600 units could be built, he said.

“Without this density, the commercial development will be more advantageous, and that’s what we’ll build,” he said.

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Standing in front of drawings depicting how a residential project might look, Katell said townhouses would create less than half the traffic of a commercial development. High-end housing units would occupy half the space, he said, and maintain the area’s residential character.

Katell also wants approval to build a 690,000-square-foot commercial and office development on about 16 acres on the east side of De Soto Avenue between Oxnard and Victory boulevards.

Residents, many of them members of the Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization, said they preferred a residential development.


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