The Los Angeles City Council approved the final environmental impact report for “The Village at Playa Vista Phase II” Wednesday, September 22nd, in a 10-1 vote.
The final City Council approval for the final phase of the project comes nearly three decades after the Playa Vista project was first proposed in 1976 by the Summa Corporation.
Of the councilmembers present, only Los Angeles Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa voted against the Playa Vista Phase II project.
“We are approving a project that we just don’t have enough information about,” said Villaraigosa.
Steve Soboroff, Playa Vista president, said the project has been improved over the years, and would add jobs and housing to the area.
Jack Kyser, the chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, said he is in favor of the project, and that the Playa Vista development will help begin to alleviate the city housing crisis.
Several individuals opposing the project said lawsuits would be filed in response to the approval.
Playa Vista officials noted that in recent years, 19 lawsuits have been filed against various aspects of the Playa Vista project and the Playa Vista developer has won every one of the 19.
A petition of more than 6,000 signatures was presented by Tom Ponton on behalf of the Mar Vista Community Council, Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council, and other organizations and residents in the area.
“I’m really disgusted that Neighborhood Councils aren’t given adequate time to be heard. We’ve been put in with regular public comment and that limits everyone,” said Sabrina Venskus, an attorney and member of the Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council.
Pursuant to a meeting Tuesday, September 21st, with Mar Vista Community Council members, local Los Angeles Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski said that Playa Vista will upgrade all 34 major intersections in Mar Vista, and that additional funds will be available to Mar Vista “equivalent” to what was appropriated for Del Rey residents.”
One of the complaints of the Mar Vista Community Council is that homes on the Mar Vista hill would lose views of the “LMU” sign on the Westchester bluffs because Phase II buildings would block views of the university sign.
“Mar Vistans will not lose their sight of the LMU sign nor of the Westchester Bluffs,” said Miscikowski.
Representatives of the Mar Vista Community Council, the Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council, Westchester Neighborhood Association, the Ballona Ecosystem Project, the Surfrider Foundation, the Ballona Wetlands Trust were among opponents speaking in opposition to the project at the City Council meeting.
“The City of Los Angeles repeatedly fails to go with the will of the community. That’s why they get litigation,” said Tom Francis of the Ballona Wetlands Trust. “The city of Los Angeles will be in court again.”