Thursday, May 3, 2012

Payback for Promoting Walkability

As detailed in this recent story from the Daily News, the Woodland Hills Chamber of Commerce plans to drop the Woodland Hills Homeowners Association from its membership because the homeowners have filed a suit over the recently-approved Village at Topanga here in Woodland Hills. The homeowners are concerned about the project's lack of walkability, saying the project violates the Warner Center Specific Plan because it encourages car use, and that potentially significant project impacts weren't considered in the project's environmental impact report. They are particulary concerned that the anchor store--a Costco--will do little to promote alternative transportation use.

But Chamber of Commerce representatives argue that, "This is in direct conflict with what the chamber stands for...We want this development for our community." Maybe the Chamber hasn't read the studies showing walkability is good for business?

While I agree that pretty much anything is better than the empty parking lot that covers the site right now, I find this kind of petty retaliation for legitimate concerns over project design discouraging....almost as discouraging as our Councilmember's feigned bewilderment over why anyone wouldn't want an auto-oriented development in their neighborhood.

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