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Samoa Response

Samoa Response

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Published by Jeremy Oberstein

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: Jeremy Oberstein on Oct 19, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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October 18, 2011 Thank you for sharing your concerns with me regarding the apartmentbuilding project that has been proposed for 10056 North Samoa Avenue in Tujunga. With regard to this project, like every other land use proposal, Ivery much value your input as we collectively contemplate the best plan forthe neighborhood. As with every project, my office is closely monitoring thisproposed development as it works its way through the public process, andwe are carefully considering potential impacts and how they may beaddressed.Unfortunately, much of the public discussion about this project in recent dayshas been based on incorrect information. First, this project is not beingrushed through the planning approval procedure -- and I will not allow it tobe rushed through.
Contrary to false reports that have beencirculated, I have verified with the City’s Housing Department thatno action was taken, or was schedule to be taken, on the financingportion of this proposal on Tuesday, October 18
. In fact, as the projectis currently proposed, the developer cannot receive funds until all thenecessary paperwork has been submitted and a thorough series of publicmeetings has been conducted, and I will not accept anything less than thisprocess. I have made clear to the General Managers of both the PlanningDepartment and the Housing Department that no bond financing will bemade available until and unless this project is full approved.As you may know, the City Planning Department recently deemed thedeveloper’s application “complete.” This is an administrative decision that is just the first step in the process, and it was done (as it must be under thelaw) solely because the developer has filed all the necessary paperwork. Thiscompletion does not mean the project has been approved or has been giventhe green light to begin construction. Quite to the contrary, an extensivepublic process still lies ahead.
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 After the application was deemed complete, a proposed Mitigated NegativeDeclaration (MND) was filed by the Planning Department. The filing of theMND ensures that anyone who wants to submit comments about whateffects they feel this project may have on the community is free to do so.Everyone is welcome to submit comments by November 2, and in fact, Iencourage the community to raise all concerns during this period so thatthose concerns can be thoroughly considered and addressed. When that public comment period ends, the Planning Department will have75 days to summarize the opinions and prepare their response. Before the75-day window closes on Jan. 28, 2012, the Planning Department will need tomake its determination regarding the application, and at that time, thecommunity will have two weeks to appeal the determination if it chooses todo so. If appeals are filed, they will be heard by the City Planning Commissionduring an open and public hearing at which anyone will be free to speak. The Planning Commission will then make its decision about whether to grantfinal approval and full entitlement.
No bond financing will be madeavailable for this project until such time as it has received finalapproval and entitlement
. There are, of course, many issues that are appropriate to question andchallenge, and I am eager to hear every legitimate argument for and againstthis project. I will always insist upon a thorough and open discussion amongcommunity stakeholders, the developer and my office in order to identifyreal concerns and address them. If changes are appropriate regardingavailable parking, infrastructure, or neighborhood or environmental impacts,my staff and I will (as we always do) work hard with the community and thedeveloper to explore specific alternatives.Openness, transparency and community engagement have been at the heartof my service in this office. There should be no question about mycommitment to this philosophy, as has been repeatedly exemplified by themany projects that have been completed, significantly changed or scrappedaltogether because of my close partnership with the communities Irepresent. In my office, the community’s considerations have never taken aback seat to a developer’s interest, and any insinuations to the contrary areflatly false. Again, thank you for your thoughtful input, which I value. Please neverhesitate to contact me or my office if you have any further concerns orquestions on this or any other matter. Very truly yours,
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