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Rancho Palos Verdes Neighbors Sue Over Church's Expansion, Bells

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The Palos Verdes Peninsula News is reporting that a group of neighbors near the St. John Fisher Catholic Church are suing both the City Council and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles because the church hasn't submitted an Environmental Impact Report over its planned expansion plans. According to the paper, the church wants to renovate its current facility on Crest Road into a new gym and build a 17,000-square-foot sanctuary, as well as a preschool, administration building, library, art room, and more. A lawyer for the city says that an EIR isn't needed, but homeowners say that given multiple factors, including expected noise from the church's bells, it is. Here's what RPV NCC member Mark Easton argues: “We believe that the [EIR] will support several of the issues that we raised with the Planning Commission and the City Council with respect to things like the height, bulk and mass of the new sanctuary and the impact that that has on the neighborhood, impacts with respect to insufficient parking, traffic, the noise from the bells that they’re proposing to ring 1,300 times a year, asbestos from the destruction of some of the existing buildings." RPV City Attorney Carol Lynch defends the noise of the bells, noting that "recorded carillon bells can be limited to a level of 49 decibels, “less than the ambient sound level,” the issue was mitigated to a level of insignificance." Meanwhile, those opposing the project note that it would have been cheaper for the church to undergo the EIR (expected to cost $100,000) than go to court. In related Rancho Palos Verdes news, the city council may change its policy towards those nutty peafowl, reports the Daily Breeze. "The population of the birds has more than doubled over the past eight years, according to a staff report." [Via RLV
· Lack of EIR causes neighbors to sue city, church [PVPN]
· Rancho Palos Verdes Council to consider flagpoles [DB]