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January 13, 2017

Granada Hills Residents Protest Proposed 440 Mixed-Use Apartments Amid Safety Safety Concerns

Granada Hills residents protested a proposed residential development Friday over concerns that it is out of place and too big for the infrastructure of the neighborhood.

"It's going to cause all kinds of traffic problems and issues with Granada Hills, or with JFK High School," David Beuvais said.

The development would be on the corner of Woodley Avenue and San Fernando Mission Boulevard. Beauvais, who is with the South Neighborhood Council, said the main concern is the safety of the students who walk to high school adjacent from the site.

"We've had a number of accidents involving students here, including a death a few years ago," he said.

The mixed-use apartment complex would consist of three- and four-story high buildings with 440 apartments, including commercial retail space and parking for more than 900 vehicles.

Councilman Mitchell Englander held a meeting with developers and some community leaders in his office Friday. But outside a large group of protesters voiced their concerns.

Before the meeting, Englander had stepped outside to assure residents that he is on their side and would try to reach a middle ground with the developers, even though he said his hands are tied.

"I actually don't have a vote on this project. It will never come before me," he said. "In fact, for the most project part this project is by right, which means they're allowed to build what they're designing, what the community wanted originally because it was designed by the community, called the community plan."

Eyewitness News reached out to the developers, who said the project is 100 percent compliant with the community plan for the neighborhood. The developers also said they recognized the need to work closely with the neighborhood and city.

They provided the following statement:

"We are spending the time necessary to work with both the community and the City Councilmember to hopefully reach consensus on a project, which will be embraced as a true asset to the neighborhood," it said.

If the city approved the plans, construction could begin sometime this year.

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