22 Aug 2014
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Does Harvard Westlake's proposed parking garage & bridge over Coldwater Canyon pass the smell test of getting a Conditional Use Permit (C.U.P.) from the City of L.A.

When I first heard of this crazy idea of a private school wanting to build themselves a 750 car parking garage and bridge over Coldwater Canyon, I thought, "hmmm, this seems out of place in a canyon"...I then discovered that the school needs to get what is called a "conditional use permit" from the city of LA to build it because current city zoning laws don't allow it....So  I googled "Conditional Use Permit" and arrived onto the State of California's Conditional Use Permit website and discovered that some interesting criteria had to be met in order for this to happen...
First there is

"Case Law:
California case law has established a number of fundamental principles relating to conditional use permits. In addition to the basic uses permitted within a zoning district, a city or county zoning ordinance can provide other specified uses which may be permitted after consideration and resolution by an administrative agency that the proposed use is in the best interest of public convenience and necessity and will not be contrary to the public health, morals, or welfare (Upton v. Gray (1969) 269 Cal.App.2d 352)."

in addition before a conditional use permits can be issued does a proposal meet these standards...

"General Welfare Standard:

"The establishment, maintenance or conducting of the use for which a use permit is sought will not, under the particular case, be detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property or improvements in the neighborhood" (Hawkins v. County of Marin (1976) 54 Cal.App.3d 586).

Nuisance Standard:

"Any use found to be objectionable or incompatible with the character of the city and its environs due to noise, dust, odors or other undesirable characteristics may be prohibited" (Snow v. City of Garden Grove (1961) Cal.App.2d 496).

General Plan Consistency Standard:

"Although use permits are not explicitly made subject to a general plan meeting the requirement of state law, that condition is necessarily to be implied from the hierarchical relationship of land use laws. Thus, use permits are struck from the mold of the zoning law, the zoning law must comply with the adopted general plan, and the adopted general plan must conform with state law; the validity of the permit process derives from compliance with this hierarchy of planning laws (Neighborhood Action Group v. County of Calaveras (1984) 156 Cal.App.3d 1176).

Zoning Consistency Standard:

"To obtain a use permit, the applicant must generally show that the contemplated use is compatible with the policies in terms of the zoning ordinances, and that such use would be essential or desirable to the public convenience or welfare, and will not impair the integrity and character of the zoned district or be detrimental to the public health, safety, morals or welfare" (O'Hagen v. Board of Zoning Adjustment (1971) 19 Cal.App.3d 151)."

Its important to remember that what is being proposed is not a public hospital or public rail system that will serve the people at large....What we are talking about is a private school wanting to displace hundreds of animals, trees and tons of soil, disturbing thousands of commuters, neighbors and wildlife alike just so they can build themselves a nice large parking garage with a lit sports field on top, along Coldwater Canyon and with a bridge that will run across Coldwater Canyon as well.....Maybe someone out there in Patch-land can help me find ANY of these standards being met with this ridiculous proposal?

Read for yourself at:

Click here: The Conditional Use Permit 


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