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the airport in Westchester identifies the Airport Junior High School complex that was closed about two years ago because of aircraft noise. The school was built in 1955. I would like to submit into the records of this committee the Los Angeles Department of Airports Board of Airport Commissioners' resolution #669 passed at their meeting held on February 4, 1953, requesting that appropriate governmental agencies, including surrounding school districts and State Department of Education refrain from the construction of school facilities or places of public assembly in or near airport approach zones, in that such locations for such facilities would constitute an intolerable and unnecessary hazard both to the occupants of the buildings and to the aircraft using the airport. It is also stated in this resolution that such places of public assembly as churches and hospitals would be unwise because of aircraft noise levels. You will note that this resolution was passed six years prior to the landings of the first jet aircraft at Los Angeles International Airport.

6. El Segundo Apartment Complex (green area No. 6). Three years ago in the city of El Segundo, as close as you can get to the airport, a multi-apartment complex was built.

7. Los Angeles Apartment Complex (green area No. 7). A single apartment complex was leveled by a developer and in its place a multiple apartment building was built in 1969.

In closing, I would also like to bring to your attention a report from the Inglewood City Hall, dated May, 1972, which features an article entitled, "Can We Sue the Airport for Noise Damage?” Also included in the issue is an article expressing the concern of the Members of Inglewood City Council as to whether or not jet noise hurts property values and their efforts to raise funds in the city's budget to conduct such a comparative study. However, in that same issue, I would like to read another news item and I quote: "At the end of 1970, building permits had galloped to a record high. The upward trend continues. The first four months of 1971 saw twelve million dollars in building permits issued-almost twice as many as for the same period in 1970. The big. gest action is in new apartment construction."

Thank you, and thank you again, gentlemen, for allowing me to address your committee.

(From the Westchester News Advertiser, Sept. 22, 1972]

ON WESTPORT BEACH CLUB SITE Environmentalists won out Tuesday over a proposed high rise development on the Westport Beach Club property in Playa del Rey.

The Planning Committee of the Los Angeles City Council agreed to rollback zoning from R-5 which would have allowed building with unlimited height restrictions to R-3 and limit height and allow a proposed 160 condominium development on the club property.

The rollback was initiated almost a year ago by Councilwoman Pat Russell, sixth district, because of a proposed high-rise development which she said would be injurious to the Playa del Rey area.

Had the zoning on the property remained at R-5, a total of 800 units could have been built. A rollback to R-3 will limit development to 200 units.

Councilwoman Russell last year listed three reasons for her opposition to R5 zoning on the beach club property which has been purchased by LevittUnited Multihousing Corporation. She said Tuesday, however, that the problems of density, height and ingress and egress had been solved “mostly” in a proposal by Levitt to erect the condominiums on the site.

Levitt's plan calls for the units to be erected at staggered heights and of two-story character. Jim Roseberg, representative for Levitt, said that the development will meet R-3 standards except in one spot where the building is about 10 feet over the R-3 height restrictions. For that reason the firm asked that a conditional "Q" zoning designation for R-4 be placed on the property. Councilwoman Russell and members of the committee indicated they would approve such a zoning. "It is important that the right conditions be placed on the zoning," Councilwoman Russell said.

Main access to the condomiunium development will be provided through two private streets to be built on the site. Both the access roads will lead onto Vista del Mar and will be for the use of owners only. Major opposition in the past was to overloading Trolley Way and Surf Street, two roadways already experiencing congestion difficulties.

Only two homes will lose their partial ocean view because of the development. Both residences are located below Vista del Mar and both homeowners were on hand to complain about their plight.

Ruth Lansford, spokesman for a group of property owners and residents in the beach area who originally opposed the high-rise character of any development said her only conern at this point was ingress and egress planned for the construction stages. Rosenberg told her all construction equipment would operate from the interior development area to Vista del Mar and not along Trolley Way.

The matter of zoning now goes to the Planning Commission for review and then back to the city council for final decision expected in about three months.

[From the Santa Monica Evening Outlook, Oct. 3]


(By Reed McClure) A zone change to permit the site of the noise-plagued Pacific Presbyterian Church in Playa del Rey to be developed with apartments goes to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission Thursday.

Rezoning to R-4 multiple residential was sought by the Synod of Southern California because acquisition of homes for the expansion of Los Angeles International Airport has caused the church's congregation to dwindle.

It had only 72 members in 1971, compared to 299 this year, according to the Rev. Allen Koehn, pastor.

"In addition,” he said at a Sept. 11 hearing, "jet noise levels at this location have increased to a point where there is serious interference with church activities."


Conditional approval of the change was recommended by Hearing Examiner Roy W. Bundick as being consistent with the new Westchester-Playa del Rey Community Plan recently approved by the commission.

Bundick asked the commission to endorse the change from R-1 single residential to R-4 for the site at Pershing Drive east of Manitoba Street, but delay approval of the effectuating ordinance until Pershing is widened and improved with lights, street trees and fire hydrants.

He noted that the plan, now before the council's planning committee, suggests that single family areas near the airport be rezoned for uses less subject to noise damage.

Thus, Bundick continued, it would "seem unreasonable" to turn down the request.

Planners have recommended high-density multiple residential zoning for the area, partly in an effort to make it feasible economically to construct soundproof apartments.

(From the Westchester Observer, Mar. 30, 1972]

WESTCHESTER APARTMENTS-PLANNERS SCALE Down AIRPORT SITE DENSITY A zone change for a proposed apartment complex on 17 acres adjoining International Airport in Westchester was scaled down recently by the Los Angeles City Planning Commission.

The action was taken at the request of Ann T. Nielsen, a field deputy for district Councilwoman Pat Russell.

She said the R-4 zoning sought by developer Fritz B. Burns for the abandoned Nike missile site at Manitoba Street and Falmouth Avenue in Westchester allowed too many dwellings. The R-4 zone allows between 80 and 100 units per acre.


At the request of Mrs. Nielsen, the commission asked the council to set the density at what is permitted in the R-3 zone30 to 50 units per acre.

At the same time, Mrs. Nielsen said the council will be asked to similarly reduce the density when a zone change for a noise-impacted Presbyterian church site is considered.

Commissioners recommended Oct. 5 that the church on Pershing Drive near the Nike site be rezoned from R-1 single residential to R4. The Nike site also is zoned R-1.


Thomas W. Golden, the commission's chief examiner, said he also thought that R-4 zoning is too dense. He explained that his recommendation for R-4 was based on findings in the Westchester-Playa del Rey Community Plan-and the commission's action in the church case.

In endorsing the change, the commission also required Burns to prepare an environmental impact report on the project.

But in this particular case, the report will deal primarily with the impact of the noisy environment on the project itself—and future residents.

High-density apartment zoning has been proposed for the area near the airport to make it economically feasible for owners to soundproof their buildings.

Commissioner David S. Moir criticized R-4 zoning because of its traffic potential.

He quoted a traffic engineer as saying R-4 zoning "could mean 7,000 to 8,000 vehicle trips a day. That seems awfully high.”

Moir claimed the R4 change, notwithstanding the recommendations of the community plan pending before the council's planning committee, is "premature.”

CITY OF Los ANGELES, RESOLUTION No. 669 Whereas, it has come to the attention of the Board of Airport Commissioners of the City of Los Angeles that in one instance a public school in the Lennox School District, County of Los Angeles, has been constructed in the easterly approach zone leading into the principal runway of Los Angeles International Airport, and in another instance the school district of El Segundo is contemplating and planning the building of an elementary school directly in the approach zone of the new North/South runway complex at Los Angeles International Airport; and

Whereas, in both instances military, civilian, and large commercial air transport aircraft fly over the said sites at heights approximately 75 feet above the ground in making standard approaches, and

Whereas, it is the opinion of this Board that the building of schools, churches, hospitals, or similar places of public assembly in such approach zones and in close proximity to a large and busy air terminal is unwise both because of the noise level and the safety hazard involved in such locations ; and

Whereas, incorporated in the report of the President's Airport Commission chairmaned by General James Doolittle, which report is of recent date, there is contained the recommendation that the use of land (in airport approach zones) should be so controlled as to eliminate the erection of places of public assembly for churches, hospitals, and schools'; and

Whereas, the said Lennox school was constructed and the said El Segundo school site was selected without the prior knowledge by or consultation with members of this Board, the Management of the Los Angeles International Airport, or the City of Los Angeles ; Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the appropriate government agencies having jurisdiction in the premises, including the school districts of the City and County of Los Angeles, the planning departments of the City and County of Los Angeles, the State Department of Education, and other pertinent agencies be requested to refrain, insofar as it is possible, from the construction of school facilities or places of public assembly in or near airport approach zones, and in any event that said agencies be requested to give careful consideration to the location of facilities in such places as constitute an intolerable and unnecessary hazard both to the occupants of the buildings and to the aircraft and air transport systems using the airport; and Be it further

Resolved, That the Secretary of this Commission be, and he hereby is instructed to transmit copies of this Resolution to the appropriate governmental agencies named above.

I hereby certify that the above is a true and correct copy of Resolution No. 669 adopted by the Board of Airport Commissioners at a regular meeting helå Wednesday, February 4, 1953.

COURTLAND G. SMITH, Secretary, Board of Airport Commissioners.

[From Views of Inglewood, Report from City Hall, May, 1972)


The recent noise over jet noise suits against the airport is acquiring the symptoms of a Laurel and Hardy movie script.

To date the script goes like this:

The California Supreme Court rules, in effect, that the airport could be sued for damages resulting from jet noise. This motivated the Los Angeles City Attorney to suggest closing the airport. Such action would mean, among other things, that practically every major airport in the country would close, which would heavily influence the operation of the world transportation system.

Mayor Mergell termed the suggestion "Ridiculous!"

Clifton Moore, LAX airport manager, said he would recommend closing the airport "if such action seemed warranted.” He didn't explain what that meant.

The L.A. City Council rushed to approve a hasty outburst of municipal lobbying energy for state legislation protecting the City against nuisance suits.

Mayor Mergell said: “L.A. has panicked!". L.A. City Councilwoman Pat Russell indicated she agreed. She urged caution and more Federal efforts to eliminate jet noise instead of rapid rush for state protection against nuisance suits.

Television news filmed Mergell's comments, plus his suggestion that cities like individuals, must be held responsible for nuisances they create. At the same time television editorial writers were preparing copy calling for efforts to save the airport, even if the airport does create a nuisance.

The story is far from over. As it stands now L.A. is working hard for state legislation granting them immunity from nuisance suits. The Inglewood City Council has pledged to fight L.A.'s efforts and has asked Inglewood citizens to write every assemblyman and state senator they know to prevent legislation from passing.

One basic issue is simply this: Can an airport be held responsible for damages suffered by nearby residents from jet noise? So far the State Supreme Court says yes, and Inglewood agrees. Los Angeles and the airport say no. Next chapter in this serial next month.


That question has been bandied about for almost a decade now. Councilman Bob Letteau thinks it's time the City finds a definitive answer.

Everybody suspects jet noise hurts property values—particularly those who own property under the flight pattern. But no in-depth study has ever been made to prove or disprove it.

Councilman Letteau proposes that a comparative study be made of prices during the past ten years of properties under the flight pattern as compared to prices of similar parcels in north Inglewood, away from the flight pattern.

The City Council is studying ways to finance the study in next year's budget.


We get phone queries on subjects ranging from trash collection schedules to ballot issues One resident recently heard a rumor that the airport was closing and called to see if it was true. (It wasn't.)

Noontime Show-Mayor Mergell was interviewed by Mario Machado, cohost of the Noontime Show on Channel 2. about the attempt by Los Angeles to secure protection against nuisance suits.

Most L. A. television stations filmed Inglewood's position in the noise pollution crisis.

At the end of 1970 building permits had galloped to a record high. The upward trend continues. The first four months of 1971 saw $12 million in building permits issued-almost twice as much as for the same period in 1970. The biggest action is in new apartment construction.

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