The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors conducted a public hearing recently to discuss a controversial 88-unit, five-story condominium development known as The View (on Overhill Drive near Stocker Street in unincorporated L.A. County).
The development is opposed by the United Homeowners’ Association II (UHA II) and a number of residents because of concerns over possible harmful environmental impacts and health risks imposed on the surrounding community, including elementary school children across the street from the project site at Windsor Hills Math/Science/Aerospace Magnet. UHA II is a non-profit organization representing the communities of Windsor Hills, View Park and View Heights.
UHA II filed an appeal opposing the L.A. Regional Planning Commission’s approval of The View in August and obtained its own analysis of the proposed project’s environmental and traffic impacts because the County’s analysis was legally inadequate and materially deficient. UHA II representatives concluded that the County’s analysis failed to adequately evaluate the proposed project’s air quality, hazards, hazardous waste and health risk impacts, and that a project-specific draft environmental impact report should have been prepared pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act. An initial appeal hearing was held by the Board on Oct. 24.
Some of the potential health risks concerning UHA II are related to air emissions during project construction and operation which may cause eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, fatigue, loss of coordination, allergic skin reactions, nausea, memory impairment and cancer. Hazards may also be posed to future residents by emissions of vapors from oil wells that were not properly abandoned on the site, according to UHA II’s expert analysis.
In addition to opposing the project because of its potential harm to the environment, UHA II also opposes it because it violates applicable zoning laws and development standards (as presented, The View would exceed the 35-foot height limit by 30 feet and force overly dense multifamily construction onto an historic single family residential community), adversely impacts nearby property values, creates hazardous traffic conditions and fails to provide any benefit to residents of the surrounding community.
UHA II representatives said they are conscious of the need to create more affordable housing along transit corridors in L.A. County, but the proposed luxury condo project will not have any consequential impact on the housing crisis.
“We support smart development and we require that developers play by the rules and respect our community’s standards…no variances or relaxing of environmental norms should be granted by our elected officials just because a developer wants to increase its profit margin,” said John Heath, UHA II board president.