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Harvard-Westlake Terrifying Neighbors With Big Garage Plan

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Even after paying the exorbitant tuition, it seems that parents of students at fancy private school Harvard-Westlake still have money left over to buy their kids cars. And those kids need a place to park those cars. So the school cooked up a plan to grade the hillside across Coldwater Canyon from its entrance to build a three-story parking garage, topped with a new playing field, and linked to the campus via a 41-foot high pedestrian bridge, which they're billing as a "gateway" to Studio City. The school says they need the parking spaces to accommodate all the new staff they've hired, and to stop students from clogging up the neighboring streets.

The neighbors, however, think if they build it, everyone's going to die. Or at least some people: "I think there's a risk of human life and property, because of this massive engineering project," a cofounder of Save Coldwater Canyon! told the Daily News. They're also not at all happy with the 10 84-foot lighting towers that would illuminate the playing field during the week, or the 13,500 truck trips necessary to haul away all that hillside dirt. The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy is also against the plan. City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who reps the area, is predictably measured, saying he hopes the developer will be "thoughtful." And what about that rare bird, a canyon-dwelling H-W parent? The DN found one and she is pro parking structure. The 45-day public comment period on the project began yesterday, though it may be extended.
· Harvard-Westlake garage plan sets off controversy [Daily News]