Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky shot a torpedo at NBCUniversal's $3-billion "Evolution Plan," saying he opposes the company's proposal to build housing on part of its famous back lot in Universal City.
The supervisor asked Universal Studios President Ron Meyer in a letter to abandon plans to develop nearly 3,000 condominiums and apartments at the east end of the studio's property. Yaroslavsky's district includes Universal City.
The addition of such housing would have "considerable downside to Universal and to our local economy," Yaroslavsky said in the letter, dated Tuesday.
Neighbors have expressed concern that the housing, which would be served by nearby shops and restaurants, would lead to additional congestion on the streets and highways around the studio, but the supervisor framed his opposition mainly in economic terms.
Eliminating a portion of the back lot could reduce television and motion picture production at Universal because there would be less room for filming, Yaroslavsky said. That could cost jobs.
The new neighbors might also grow weary of being so close to the action, leading to further production cuts.
-- Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times