The Playa Vista Phase II development was unanimously approved by the Los Angeles City Planning Commission Thursday, July 8th.

The second and last phase of the development — called The Village at Playa Vista by Playa Vista officials — proposes 2,600 housing units, 175,000 square feet of office space, 150,000 square feet of retail space and 40,000 square feet of green community space.

Housing units are proposed to include new homes, condominiums and apartments.

In describing the types of office and retail space proposed in Phase II, Playa Vista officials say:

“Our goal is to bring in neighborhood-serving stores that principally serve the people who live and work in Playa Vista and the neighborhoods directly adjacent.”

The Phase II development — located on 111 acres southeast of Lincoln and Jefferson Boulevards — is next expected to be reviewed by the Los Angeles City Council in October.

A draft environmental impact report estimates that Playa Vista Phase II will be completed five years after construction begins.

“This is a very excellent project,” said City Planning Commission chairman Mitchell Menzer.

“To a large extent, it is an experiment. If it works, it can be very important to the way this city grows and develops.”

Playa Vista president Steve Soboroff added:

“This is validation of a good plan. This smaller, greener project was validated today.

“Playa Vista is making a dent in the housing shortage and helping to fix this imbalance.”

Original plans for Playa Vista Phase II included 10,000 residential units and a hotel.

The previously approved Phase I will include 3,246 housing units and 1.5 million square feet of office space.

Playa Vista changed its plans for Phase II after strong opposition from community groups and environmentalists, who claim the project will increase the traffic on the already-congested Lincoln Boulevard and destroy the Ballona Wetlands and Ballona Creek.

Critics of Playa Vista Phase II include the Santa Monica City Council, the Mar Vista Community Council (the certified Neighborhood Council for Mar Vista) and the Ballona Wetlands Land Trust.

“We’re having an experiment of essentially putting in almost a whole new city in a very dense area,” said Santa Monica councilman Michael Feinstein.

The Gabrieleno/Tongva Tribal Council of San Gabriel, a Native American group, asserted that Playa Vista is damaging an old Indian burial area on the Playa Vista site.

“This situation has turned into racism,” claimed Anthony Morales, chairman of the Tribal Council. “If the desecration continues, we can definitely say this is now a hate crime,”.

Playa Vista and its supporters — including Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn and Los Angeles Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski — say developing the city’s Westside will allow residents to find affordable housing and create 8,000 construction jobs.

Playa Vista officials also claim their Phase II project will generate $4 million in annual tax revenue for the city.

“We have to bring housing to the Westside,” said city planning commissioner Bradley Mindlin. “We can’t have everybody living in Santa Clarita and Simi Valley.”