October 18, 2007
Museum of Tolerance faces fight with neighbors over expansion plans
(Page 2 - Previous Page)She acknowledged that there was some inevitable friction with neighbors, often caused by buses bringing in some 800-1,200 students daily from Los Angeles County schools to visit the museum.
In addition, the 185 ninth-12th grade boys at the yeshiva may not always contain their exuberance in outdoor games.
Burden said that she personally follows up on each complaint, but that the actual volume is quite low, running at five to six a year. She spoke to The Journal from Israel at about 1 a.m. her time, where she is working on the legal complications holding up construction of the Center for Human Dignity in Jerusalem.
Kathy King, entitlement planner for Psomas, responded to Fink's complaint that the museum had pulled a "Pearl Harbor" on residents by giving them barely three weeks to get their act together before the Oct. 24 hearing. Fink asked for a postponement, which was rejected because the Wiesenthal Center opposed it.
King said that the hearing was only a preliminary step and that additional arguments could be filed with the City Planning Commission, which will likely not consider the case until just before or after the December holidays. Its decision is not expected for another three to four months.
If either party is dissatisfied with the decision, it can appeal to the Los Angeles City Council and if still unhappy, take the case to court.
Over the decades, the Fifth District's former city councilmen, Zev Yaroslavsky and Michael Feuer, were deeply involved in forging compromises between the Wiesenthal Center and residents. It's now the turn of the area's present councilman, Jack Weiss.
Treading a careful middle line, Weiss said in a statement from his office that he "is supportive of the Wiesenthal Center's mission and efforts, but he does understand the concerns of the neighbors and is encouraging the Wiesenthal Center to address the issues that are raised."
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