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With Hearing Coming Up, Protesters Fight West LA's Bundy Village*

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Kilroy's Justin Smart, in blue jacket, holding sign, talking to well-known Westside activist Barbara Broide

If you happened to be driving past Olympic Boulevard and Bundy Drive this morning, you may have seen a small, but vocal group of protesters railing against Bundy Village, Stonebridge Holdings' proposed housing and medical plaza, a project scheduled to go before the Planning Commission this Thursday. To show that they're worried about traffic impact from the project, the group gathered at the intersection at 7:45 am, just as the morning commute was slowing to a crawl. But don't think this is just another instance of development-suspicious Westsiders slamming a project. Another developer--Kilroy Realty Corporation--is also fighting Bundy Village, and this morning, executives from the SoCal firm were marching and holding signs. Kilroy, which has an office near the proposed project, has hired a PR firm to launch their own campaign against Bundy Village. They've also done their own traffic study on the project. "It's interesting as a developer to be against it," said Justin Smart, Senior Vice-President of Development at Kilroy, one of those who turned out this morning. "We're not anti-development." Yes, it’s a developer-on-developer smackdown. Let the carnage begin! UPDATE*: This thing may be a done deal. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl says he's backing the project.

As reported before, various incarnations of this project, designed by local firm AC Martin, have been proposed by Stonebridge over the last decade, but the development, which would bring 385 residential condominiums (including 62 units for Moderate income households) and two medical office structures covering a total of 384,735 square feet, is getting a renewed push with this week's hearing. Notably, the Planning Commission would have to approve a zone change for the project from light industrial to general commercial to get this project through.

Kilroy has hired well-known PR firm MWW Group to help publicize their fight, while numerous neighborhood councils have come out against the project. Smart believes the site would be better served by bringing in an office building or a retail project since he believes that type of project would bring in less traffic. Smart says Kilroy hired its own traffic engineer, who agreed with Stonebridge's estimation on the number of projected cars that would be brought to the area, but Smart doesn't believe that the traffic mitigations recommended by Stonebridge--including synchronizing lights--will do much to reduce traffic in the area.

Others who turned out this morning also worried about increased traffic. "Synchronizing the lights isn't going to take care of that," says South Brentwood resident Sheldon Jaffey, 75, pointing to cars lined up on Bundy Drive.

In past interviews, Stonebridge Holding's president Michael Lombardi has said residents in the 11th district don't have access to an adequate healthcare facility. "There's an aging population in the 11th district and they need a healthcare system," Lombardi told us last October. Additionally, supporters have pointed out that a planned Expo stop (as part of Phase II) will rise immediately south of the site.