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Highly-Specific View Blockage Starts Condo War in Redondo

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Shit's getting real in Redondo Beach, where a fight over a proposed luxury condo project has led to more public outcry than the developer has ever seen. But the way the Daily Breeze tells it, this doesn't exactly sound like the makings of an all-out neighborhood war. Here's what's happening: developer Ben Agarwal wants to replace a two-story, eight-unit apartment building at 1000 Esplanade at Avenue B with a six-unit condo that conforms to height and setback requirements. The building "would block the view of the ocean if a person wanted to gaze at the Pacific while standing about 100 feet back" from that corner, which Agarwal doesn't deny. He does, however, say that "if someone really wants to see the ocean, all he has to do is walk another few steps and he can see and smell the ocean." (Full disclosure: we have never knowingly stood 100 feet back from this corner and attempted to take in the view while imagining a six-unit building at this address, and so cannot attest to the veracity of these assertions.)

Feelings are running so high in the neighborhood--a group called Save our Strand has been formed--that one might suspect this is more about the "trend of replacing old charming beachfront buildings with modern condominiums" that's swept the beachfront Esplanade rather than being just a fight over a view. In fact, residents previously fought the project on the grounds that the old apartment building has historical significance (that didn't work). The matter's now in the hands of the City Council, after the Planning Commission punted it back in April.
· Redondo Beach condo battle heats up [DB]