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Panel approves final phase of Playa Vista development

December 10, 2009 |  3:20 pm

The Los Angeles Planning Commission voted unanimously today to approve the second, final phase of the massive Playa Vista development between the Westchester bluffs and Marina del Rey.

In casting his "yes" vote, commission President William Roschen praised Playa Vista as a "smart, sustainable project" and Phase 2, known as the Village, as "the key piece, the centerpiece of Playa Vista."

The 111-acre second phase, intended to complete the vision of Playa Vista as a live-work-play community, will be built between the existing mixed-use residential community to the west, now home to more than 6,000 residents, and the office campus to the east.

The Village will add 2,600 residential units, a shopping center, office buildings and parks.

This marks the second go-round for Phase 2, which the city originally approved in 2004. But opponents sued, saying the environmental analysis for the Village was flawed. In 2007, the 2nd District Court of Appeal agreed that the city should revise three sections of the environmental impact report. In May 2008, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ordered the city to vacate the approvals.

The city revised the environmental impact report, and the approval process must begin anew, with the commission's vote as the first step toward gaining the City Council's OK.

About 60 Playa Vista residents and fans traveled to City Hall to voice support for the project.

Rex Frankel, a longtime opponent who challenged the environmental impact report, said Playa Vista, by building Phase 2, was attempting to "empty out the vault that holds our quality of life."

—Martha Groves