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Jewish Journal

LA Council to vote on Museum of Tolerance expansion

by Brad A. Greenberg

June 10, 2009 | 12:01 pm

The prolonged battle between the Museum of Tolerance and the neighbors opposed to the expansion of the West L.A. institution appears to be coming to a close. After years of public squabbles—how about this comment?—the City Council will vote this morning on whether to approve the museum’s project, which will include an addition of almost 30,000 square feet and a new 63-foot-tall building.

The project, one of many in Councilman Jack Weiss’ district that are being pushed through before he leaves office next month, is expected to pass. More from the Los Angeles Times:

Weiss spokeswoman Lisa Hansen said the council district, which stretches from Cheviot Hills to Encino, always has a large number of development projects in the works—and June is no exception.

“Many have been in the public process pipeline for years and are now ready for a vote after a lot of community work has been done,” she said.

Hansen said some district projects have drawn little if any controversy. Critics have a different take, saying that it is no coincidence that so many projects have come up for a vote.

“Across this district, projects that have been fought, and fought hard, are being rammed through,” said Laura Lake, a land-use consultant who represents a neighborhood group opposed to the planned 14-story complex.

When it comes to real estate development, the 15-member council typically relies on the “Rule of 15,” which suggests that members not interfere with projects in other council colleagues’ districts. That concept was briefly ignored last week, when council members demanded and obtained new concessions from the developer of La Brea Gateway.

Weiss advised his colleagues that they should rely on the expertise of the council’s three-member Planning and Land Use Management Committee, on which he sits. Councilman Bill Rosendahl disagreed, saying that he was willing to make changes to projects in Weiss’ district if he saw a need.

“I think that’s our responsibility,” he said.

Read the rest of that story here.

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