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Wednesday, Oct 4, 2023

Weiss Says Walgreens Project Complies With Rules

A few months ago members of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association felt as though they could count on the help of the City Council to keep a new Walgreens away from the corner of Colbath Ave. and Ventura Blvd. without significant traffic improvements. First proposed over two years ago, SOHA raised its voice about the development and Councilman Jack Weiss has been talking with the developers for the last two years about the project. In its most recent monthly newsletter, the homeowner’s association complained that the councilman’s office let Sherman Oaks residents down. “(The Committee Co-Chairs) were shocked to learn that the Walgreens has been approved by the city without promised mitigation for the neighborhood and community,” the newsletter read. “There are no provisions in the City documents protecting the community.” Weiss said that he and his office have worked hard to make sure that the development does not disrupt the community. “We have worked very hard and very closely with the community on the project for a number of years. We were pleased we were able to secure a ban on the sale of alcohol at the location and prevent it from being open 24 hours,” said Weiss. “The developer decided not to seek any variance from the city and decided to build what the city allows them to build. If the developer does that, then it’s no longer possible to add conditions legally.” This is not the first time that SOHA has protested a retail development, over the last year the group worked with Wendy Greuel’s office to push the city to require more traffic mitigation from the developer of a Best Buy electronics store at the corner of Milbank and Van Nuys Blvd. The group appealed to the South Valley Area Planning Commission to add more traffic restrictions. The group has maintained that since the 101/405 interchange is so close to the area, developers often underestimate the traffic that will be generated by large retail projects, while developers say that they’re only following the requirements set forth by the City’s specific plans for development. Weiss, meanwhile, said he understands the neighbors concerns and is going to continue working to prevent traffic congestion at the Walgreens location. “I’m concerned about that, and I’m going to continue to work with the city to do whatever we can to address those issues,” Weiss said.

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