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Westfield Picks Fight With Caruso

Geez-louise, you would think Rick Caruso was building a Wal-Mart or something. Just days after he broke ground on Americana at Brand in Glendale, Caruso's newest development in Arcadia, branded The Shops at Santa Anita, has come under fire from citizens - well, ok, citizens at the urging of Westfield Santa Anita mall. The mall people, who's very livelihood is threatened by a Caruso mall adjacent to their's, sponsored two ballot initiatives that "target elements of Caruso's original plan..." the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports. Now the battle between Westfield and Caruso and the City is getting ugly with Westfield issuing a public letter which criticizes Mayor Roger Chandler for his handling of the Caruso project. Of course, that didn't sit well with the Mayor or the City Council.

Council members in turn have accused Westfield's paid petition-gatherers of scaring residents with misinformation. Expected or not, Chandler said the attack was unfair, because it overlooked his vigorous opposition to a Caruso-sponsored ballot initiative that would have prevented the mall from bringing in a Target store.

Caruso tabled the measure after the mayor requested both parties drop their respective efforts.

The Shops at Santa Anita must still undergo some major development scrutiny, including the preparation of a revised environmental impact report. Apparently, in the Draft EIR, the Caruso project was shown to have significant impacts at the nearby historic race track, which of course raised the ire of preservationists. And then you have the issue of all that traffic. And the 300 proposed new condos causing school overcrowding. Any more complaints?
· Westfield angry at city officials [San Gabriel Vally Tribune]