Local developer M David Paul wants to put a 500-unit apartment complex (with retail, including a high-end grocery store) called Il Villagio Toscano (translation: Tuscan Village) at the corner of Sepulveda Blvd. and Camarillo St. But he's facing opposition from some members of local neighborhood groups, including the Coalition to Stop Il Villagio Toscano, which wants the Killefer Flammang-designed project, which is eight stories at its highest, downsized. Additionally, City Councilman Paul Krekorian's office still has concerns about the density and the traffic from the project, according to Paul Krueger, development manager for M David Paul. But Krueger believes he is dealing with some "antiquated" rules about density for this area. With the project's draft EIR about to come out, the developer is also launching a campaign to try and woo locals. "We are out there, walking around, and knocking on doors," says Krueger, who says he hopes to be able to share positive information received about the project with the council office.
As part of their social media offensive, the developer has launched a new site, "Imagine Sherman Oaks." The site challenges locals: "Think you can imagine better?" and asks people to send in images or ideas for the site. But before you submit a napkin scrawling for a pony farm on the lot, Krueger says they've pretty much made their mind that this is the best use for the site. One of his gripes, he says, is that some people say "no" to a project, but don't come up with any alternatives for the site.
The social media campaign continues as there's also a Facebook page. One of the latest post links to an article entitled "Nimbyism on the Apartment Front: Danger Signals for Us All" and is linked under the headline: "WHY do people oppose development? Check out this article to find out. Don't let Sherman Oaks be the next victim. Decide what's best for your community!"
Meanwhile, here's what those opposing the project say: "Il Villagio Toscano is a massive new development project that is proposed for the corner of Sepulveda Blvd. and Camarillo. This development will add thousands of new car trips per day to this already gridlocked intersection."
· Imagine Sherman Oaks [Official Site]