Writing in City Watch, Cary Brazeman details what he calls a bait-and-switch involving an Encino mixed-user on Ventura that opened last year--the "Encino Surprise." When the project was floated to neighbors several years ago, it was described as having a "Tuscan villa facade...that showed residential units stepping down, in tiers, as if built into the hillside." Once the project took shape, there was certainly no sloping and definitely no Tuscan (whether that's good or bad is obviously subjective). Brazeman makes the salient point that this neighborhood has no design standards. Since there are no standards, "the developer, be it the original applicant or some other builder who may come along, can alter the look as he sees fit." When things like the "Encino Surprise" happen, don't be shocked when people are dubious of any sort of development, Brazeman writes. UPDATE: Gerry Silver was previously listed as the developer; he's actually a homeowner who fought against the project. We're trying to dig up the developer's name.
· The "Encino Surprise" Can Happen to You [CityWatch]