I have become familiar with the Boething Treeland project since it was first proposed in fall of 2016. The process for reviewing this project has only just begun. However I have heard from many neighbors about the proposal and the potential impacts it could create for our area.
It is obvious that this project has raised red flags for me and many others within the neighborhood. As with any development project, one of my foremost concerns is that the project fit into the neighborhood. This project, as proposed, does not meet that criteria as it is out of scale for the neighborhood. The project, as currently proposed, is not acceptable, and does not have my support.
My concerns related to this project are no secret. I spoke about it at a Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization meeting back in January. I have been forthright that I believe that this project will need to be rescaled if it has any chance of fitting in with the community. It will also need to go through an open vetting process with the neighbors and an environmental review before it can gain any support from me.
The project has a long road in front of it, and many important questions to answer regarding its potential impacts. I have raised many concerns with the developer and the Department of City Planning regarding this initial proposal. I have many questions related to how traffic would be handled, what grading impacts would occur, how much open space would be maintained, and how this project would fit into the fabric of our community.
Those questions are just the tip of the iceberg and many more will need to be answered by the owner to justify such a drastic change to what has for decades been private, low impact open space. As someone deeply committed to protecting open space and who used to work for the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy, I believe drastic changes to this site or any open space site must meet a high burden of proof.
However, I am not blind to the reality that this is private property, and that the site will be redeveloped in some way. Nonetheless, any proposed development must be done appropriately and contextually complement the existing neighborhoods it is a part of. Warner Center is the more appropriate area for density, this area should remain a cherished area of single family homes and community serving services.
I have relayed my concerns to the property owner and developer and I expect them to work with the neighborhood to come to a consensus on what is appropriate for that site. I generally refrain from taking a formal position prior to the Neighborhood Council process and other community vetting out of respect for the process and the dedicated community representative who spend their time analyzing development projects. I hope my expressions of concern about this project will not preempt or undermine their process, but rather serve as guidance to help focus it. Any proposed project must be better aligned with the type of neighborhoods it is part of. I am here to engage and work with the community to help shape a better project for our neighborhood.
It is my distinct honor and privilege to serve as your representative on the Los Angeles City Council. Serving you and providing the highest level of constituent service is my top priority. My staff and I always strive to resolve issues and concerns as quickly as possible. Should you have any questions please contact my Director of Planning & Land Use, Andrew Pennington, at (818) 774-4330.
The Environmental Impact Study has just begun and the DCP is taking comments on potential impacts and areas of concern. Please click this link to learn more about this process and know that the comment period lasts until July 20. Please remember this is just the beginning of the process and there will be many more opportunities to voice your opinions. Your engagement in identifying and solving problems is a key component of improving the quality of life in the San Fernando Valley.