http://casdenwestla.com/photos/   Surf around on Casden West LA's site and see what 631 units will look like along with an overhead EXPO Station. The whole character of our town will change from suburban to urban. These "transit oriented developments ( TOD ) are our future if we don't fight them.

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Comment by barney desimone on August 12, 2013 at 2:34pm

That's a nice piece of misinformation, but this has been researched too completely, including owning all of the source documents. Please explain why language and even the building plans themselves are the same in London, Washington DC and L. A., Fascist architecture with a hint of Robert Morris Socialist Craftsman Style. The cat is out of the bag and it's not just the Birchers and industrialists that are on to it. That is a radical Leftists Leftist Environmental site that you put a link to, zero credibility with mainstream research.

Comment by Dylan on August 12, 2013 at 1:03pm

Barney Desimone said: "Go to Wikipedia and look up Agenda 21."

I did. Here is an article which explains this "issue": http://www.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2012/08/anti-environmenta...

Comment by barney desimone on March 21, 2013 at 4:02pm

I had read that the plan was for 500+ units and after community input it went up to 638. There's a long history of poor outreach for local input all over L.A and especially in WLA. I can't think of one major development that has been stopped despite community opposition. This goes back to the Pico/Westwood Mall and the at grade Expo crossings at Overland and Westwood. The Expo itself raised tremendous opposition for years, all for naught. Maybe it's time to look at the real source of our local problems, regional planning boards and government grant money. As long as that money comes from outside the local area our local political input will be ignored. regional boards are not elected by local city, county, or sate constituencies. They pull the strings in those jurisdictions with federal grant money and our local politicians dance to their tune not our's. WE HAVE NO SAY. Again look into Agenda 21 and the work being done by John Anthony. The method used is laid out in the book, Integrating City Planning and Environmental Improvement, Practicable Strategies for Sustainable Urban Development by Donald Miller and Gert De Roo, Chapter 7. It explains the regional planning strategy in the Puget Sound area but applies here. What we are seeing happening all around us is not a local ad hoc phenomenon. It's global and it's incredibly well organized and funded. These planning concepts have been in effect since the early 90's, 1992 actually when President GH Bush signed onto Agenda 21 at the Rio Earth Summit in Brazil. It was implemented by President Clinton the next year by executive order with the President's Council on Sustainable Development. All urban development is following this agenda in every part of America now.    

Comment by Barbara Broide on March 21, 2013 at 2:57pm

The project is just TOOOO big and high for this area.  The size, height and density are completely out of scale with the community.  In short, it needs to go back to the drawing board.  Everyone knows it.  Casden will push as hard and as far as he can (much like a young child testing limits) and unless the adults in the room (planning authorities and the City Council) establish boundaries for him he will continue this over-reaching for everything that he could possibly want.  He has a history of seeking much more than is possible, much more than a land's zoning and plan allow and by doing so he shifts the negotiations to a starting point much more to his liking.  This is a wise strategy for a developer seeking to maximize his project and its profits.  However, if the community and policy makers don't push back or arent' able to balance this strategy, there is a serious problem.  The City Planning Commission decided not to press Casden for an extension of its time to consider  the project so now the heavy lifting and real  negotiations will have to take place with the developer and the Council District offices before the proposal goes to PLUM.  Too bad because there is a genuine lost opportunity for the CPC to weigh in in more detail.  Instead, a number of issues of concern to them were sent for further work by the Planning Director (which will be done in conjuction with the developer).  It is abundantly clear that the outreach on this project has been poor, that whatever feedback that was received was for the most part ignored.  Councilmembers Koretz and Rosendahl know this and will likely instruct the developer to go back to the community given all the input heard at the CPC hearing.   Perhaps now Casden's people will hear the overwhelming opposition to the project.  We shall see.    

To all those in the area:  Whether or not you think that this project could improve the area over the current cement plant uses, you should be speaking out loudly and clearly that the size of this project is just TOO big and its number of negative impacts on key intersections are unacceptable.  Work toward getting the project improved, reduced in size, having improved interface with the sidewalks, station, etc., having better bike facilities and bike access to the station and around the project, having a real Westside Transit Center, etc.  There wasn't even a landscape plan of any detail presented and the project has already been approved by the City Planning Commission?  We have to stop the Casden TRAIN from getting on the track before it responds to very reasonable and fact-based critics and their concerns. 

Comment by barney desimone on March 19, 2013 at 9:16am

The whole concept is to kill the car and force people to walk or bike. They would prefer people not leave the building if possible. When the HOA's fought the Expo crossings at grade on Overland and Westwood that should have been a message. Anyone in the area knows what Overland looks like during most of the day already. Rush hour will be a total disaster with the train crossing it. This whole planning concept comes from Agenda 21 through ICLEI and has little to do with transit. It has to do with social engineering. The same plan that calls for transit also calls for out of scale developments. Casden is just the tip of the spear. The aim is to make single family homes out of scale with what is coming. Look at any of the presentations by John Anthony, Tom DeWeese or Rosa Koirei on You Tube to see how this is all predetermined at the regional level by unelected boards. This is why local dissent is ignored. Bipartisan grassroots opposition is mounting to this agenda but it's far behind the curve. Look at Democrats against Agenda 21 and how they are working with Tea Parties to fight this. This problem exists in every city in America. It's far from an ad hoc situation in WLA.

Comment by Barbara Broide on March 19, 2013 at 12:22am

The Casden project is completely out of scale with the neighborhood and requires a zone change, City General Plan change AND a community plan change.  They also need to gain access across the EXPO right-of-way in order to have enough access, delivery locations and emergency access to allow for a project of this proposed size.  The truth of the matter is that although this project is being called "transit oriented development," it is not a true TOD.  No one in their right mind would consider a Target store or any "big box" tenant to be the type of business one would find in a TOD.  Target stores are magnets for traffic... City Targets included. Having a traffic magnet located next to a light rail station destroys a good part of the investment being made in transit.  People need to be able to access transit using many different travel modes:  vehicles, pedestrian access, bikes and buses.  If this project is allowed as proposed, the traffic at 18 intersections will be adversely impacted and there are no mitigations available to address those impacts.  (You may have heard the rising philosophy that states that if only the traffic gets REALLY bad, folks will abandon their vehicles for other travel modes.  Well, when those modes don't reach the potential riders that really isn't an option.)  Some people will still need to drive to the station.  And, remember, Sepulveda is the only station to have parking facilities so it is critical that the traffic around the station isn't mucked up by the Casden project. 

The City says it wants to preserve industrial/light manufacturing zoned land.  Then why is it acting to recommend approval of the Casden project?  Who would dream of putting over 600 apartment units directly adjacent to a major freeway, a major freeway alternate route (Sepulveda), a major artery (Pico Blvd.)?  This land is zone the way it is zoned exactly because it is best suited for non-residential uses. 

At early project hearings, the developer brought in folks to speak on behalf of the project.  While all the local community groups in any vicinity near the project stands opposed to it, unless the actual residents of the areas nearby start to speak up, write the Council and attend the future PLUM and City Council hearings in order to answer to the speakers that Casden folks bring in (with planned testimony neatly typed and distributed to those asked to speak), the project has a good chance of being approved.  The Councilmembers in the area are opposed, the HOA Associations are opposed.  However, the Planning Dept.'s recommendation is to approve the project and the City Planning Commission addressed a few issues but still approved the project with its overbearing and out of neighborhood character height.  This is a TRANSIT-ADJACENT project, not a transit oriented project.  It does not provide needed Westside Transit Center amenities for the riders who will be connecting through at this key location.  (Which reminds me, why didn't METRO buy the property when it first came up for sale?  Why not exercise eminent domain here when the cement plant was closing?  This is such a key location for a transit center and connections between many transit providers that it is incredible that this idea still has not been openly embraced by METRO and the City. 

A change in this zone in this location will put huge pressures on the rest of the light manufacturing zoned land nearby.  How can the City allow Casden to spot zone this  parcel and not allow others to do the same?  (But then again, who said the City has to be fair?) 

Citizens need to demonstrate their unhappiness and press the City to preserve this land for good jobs -- not minimum wage Target clerk positions.  This should be a part of a technology corridor with well paying jobs.  This area needs to provide services for the community like auto body shops, animal kennels, wine storage, etc.  This zoning and its businesses should be protected as an essential part of the larger Westside community.

Comment by barney desimone on March 16, 2013 at 11:30am

I have no doubt that it will go through. The neighborhood Councils with good financial backing  fought the Expo Line and lost. Once that happened all of the rest follows as a matter of course. These giant developments at the station sites are preordained when the transit get's approved. The Expo authorities and the developers coordinate as you can see looking at the Expo Website. Only a handful of developers get all of the contracts for these buildings. The bike lanes are also part of the preordained agenda that comes from the Regional General Plan. The actual cities and counties have little real control. You'll notice that the same coordinated plan is unfolding across jurisdictions throughout the region, state and country. Every city in the country is getting the same plan. Where does that leave the citizens? Where is this agenda coming from? Why is the outcry from the citizenry not heard? Go to Wikipedia and look up Agenda 21. Do some research on it. Judge for yourself. 

Comment by michael derek mccoy on March 15, 2013 at 4:38am

I'm afraid this development will go through.  Big developments are occurring all around the Los Angeles area.

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