Councilman Mitch Englander has joined with the land use committee of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council to oppose a proposed 99-bed elder-care facility on DeSoto Avenue.
Speaking at the Chatsworth Community Coordinating Council on Monday, Englander said projects like this one at 10801 DeSoto Ave. do not belong in the middle of a horse-keeping area.
"There are some issues in the ordinance and the zoning code that say if they cause a significant increase in unmitigated traffic, or noise, or congestion... they could be stopped," Englander said.
Because of the ordinance designed to support the creation of elder-care facilities, projects go to a zoning administrator for approval, not the City Council, he said. If there is an appeal it then goes to the Area Planning Commission for a final decision.
"I am against this specific project because it is trying to shoehorn in too dense of a project in an area it just doesn't fit," Englander said.
The 2.4-acre property lies within a region reserved by former Councilmen Hal Bernson and Grieg Smith as well as Englander for horse-keeping properties on minimum 20,000-square-foot lots.
The impact on the area can't be mitigated, he said. "I don't believe it can be at that particular location."
"While I do support some [elder-care facilities], in the right areas, they don't all fit... particularly in an equestrian area," Englander said. "I've taken the position that I am against this particular project for that reason at this location. I don't think it works."
More than 50 neighbors who attended the recent land use committee meeting complained that the facility, with arriving and departing cars, ambulances and delivery vehicles would disrupt the neighborhood.
Craig Michayluk and his wife Joy are proposing the project, called Casa Esperanza. They also own the 46-bed Evergreen Chateau assisted living facility in Van Nuys, where they are listed as administrators.
Teena Takata, secretary for the land use committee said, "It's a business and this is a residential area. It's run for a profit. It violates the community plan which calls for horse keeping."
Neighbors complained the facility would disrupt their rural way of life. "You may have a great idea," said committee member and Neighborhood Council President Andre van der Valk, "but you picked the wrong spot."
"You could be run out of town for destroying our rural way of life," he said. "We like it when our chickens cross the road."
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