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FORUM/jb/mike1st/jc2nd Universal Studios wants to roughly double the amount of development at its 415-acre parcel at Universal City. The plan calls for construction of 5.9 million square feet of theme park attractions, hotels, film studios and offices, plus 6.3 million square feet of parking lots. Opponents of that ambitious plan most notably local homeowner groups, Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and City Councilman John Ferraro have recommended a 40 percent reduction in the project’s size. Do you think Universal Studio’s proposed expansion should be scaled back? Frank Morales Owner Circle Associates of Universal City Los Angeles is lacking a major tourist destination, like what Anaheim has with Disneyland. We have amusement parks, but who really wants to go stay at Magic Mountain for a weekend. Universal City is local to everything, and there is more than just the tour to take. So long as it doesn’t drastically impact the lives of those who live in the area, then I don’t see the problem. Stephen T. Wise President California Furniture Exports We really look at it from an international standpoint. We feel it is such a tourist attraction that it should be expanded to develop more appeal to international tourists. Talk about scaling it back is more of a political compromise the homeowners want a slower expansion and the entertainment industry wants a larger one. Politically, you usually get half of what you ask for, but any growth would be good. Michael Chung Beltan, Michaels & Associates Vice President From a business standpoint, I’d like to see as much growth in the area as possible. Attracting more tourists means more businesses and more customers. But, if the same or almost the same kind of results can happen by scaling back the project, then that sounds like a good idea. People who own homes have rights, and it seems the politicians are recognizing that. Julie Landers Assistant Director, Marketing The Walt Disney Co. I guess, working for Disney, I should say I’m against expansion all together, but I truly think there needs to be more up there to make Universal more of an attraction. But it shouldn’t grow wildly out of control. The neighbors are sacrificing a lot, so Universal should agree to whatever sacrifices are needed to at least make this more attractive for those who live in the area. Nate Brogin American TeleTech I’m not sure if the reasons cited for the scale-back are appropriate. I believe with the incorporation of mass transit, as well as it being a destination location, and that the transportation issues are mitigated. In many cases, Universal has owned property in the area before residents did (so it) is somewhat unfair to ask the commercial property owner to mitigate all the issues the homeowners are requesting.

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