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Chickens or Seniors … Does it have to be One or the Other?

TALK BACK - Not at all … our Tarzana neighborhood can have both chickens and seniors. (See CityWatch story “Neighborhood Council System Misfires on Eldercare Facility Bill”)  The Eldercare Facility that is being proposed at the intersection of Yolanda Ave. and Calvert St. in Tarzana will not require any change in zoning, nor will this facility affect the zoning for the other properties in the immediate area.
The properties that are zoned RE and RA will still be permitted to have livestock and equines provided that they are housed in enclosures with proper setbacks to the adjoining parcels. None of the nearby neighbors who currently have horses have complained that the Eldercare Facility will interfere with their horse keeping rights.

Recently, there’s been a  lot of misinformation in the media and in CityWatch on a proposed Eldercare Facility that our (Tarzana Neighborhood) Council voted to support. This project was carefully and properly vetted before Tarzana’s Land Use Committee and Board at four meetings before a decision was made. As required by the Brown Act all of these meetings were properly noticed by posting our agendas and sending them out to our email list.

Both the Committee and Board members spent a considerable amount of time studying and walking in the area. As required by law, the Board member whose family is the applicant recused himself from all discussions and deliberations by removing himself from the Board meetings.

The Board members listened to both nearby residents and residents from neighborhoods several miles away. Ms. Cerda testified at a number of these hearings as she has done at other hearings before and after leaving the Neighborhood Council Board. The Council ultimately felt that this was an excellent project that would provide a future home for seniors in our community.

The Zoning Administrator adopted a number of conditions recommended by the Council Board that will enhance the project while not impacting any of the adjacent properties. In December, 2012 the City Zoning Administrator approved this project in a well thought out, well researched 89 page determination.

The project’s plans show buildings that look more like homes in the area than the institutional look of some of the senior facilities on our main thoroughfares. The grounds will have an abundance of landscaping with walkways and gardens. The seniors will have an opportunity to become involved in an intergenerational program with the adjacent school.

The immediate neighborhood has churches, schools and a synagogue that have been in existence for well over 20 years. On the next street south, Topham St., across from the Orange Line busway, there are manufacturing and commercial businesses, a private school, an Alzheimer’s facility, condos and townhouses. Sheet metal, carnival and nursery businesses operate on the same block as this proposed facility. Further to the east on Reseda Blvd. there are multi-unit residential properties. The area contains multiple uses which are the essence of a sustainable community.

Our Council takes pride in the way we review land use projects. Our goal has always been to insure that Tarzana has well planned developments that will enhance our community taking into consideration the needs and wants of the entire community. We have opposed those projects that were clearly detrimental to the stakeholders of Tarzana. We spent many years working on projects, such as our new Village Walk development on Ventura Boulevard that has become a community showplace and asset.

We hope the vocal opponents of this home for seniors will understand that they do not have to choose livestock over the elder members of our community, but realize and accept that both are compatible with their neighborhood.

(Kathy Delle Donne is Tarzana Neighborhood Council’s First VP & Chair of the Land Use Committee)

Tags: Tarzana, Tarzana Neighborhood Council, Eldercare Facility, TNC Board

Vol 10 Issue 10
Pub: Feb 3, 2012