Even though Crossroads of the World owner Morton La Kretz promised a "rustic residential" feel for his development of 60 townhouses on the site of a former wallpaper factory plant in Atwater Village, several members of the equestrian community nearby think it's going to crowd out their quiet bridle path. Some locals are banding together to fight against the LA-River-adjacent townhouses, which opponents say clash with the 50 acres of equestrian properties and nearly 500 horses that reside in the nearby area. They've formed a group called Atwater Village Always (AVA), reports the Los Feliz Ledger, and they've got ammunition against the development.
Daniel Tellalian, a La Kretz spokesperson, defended the project, saying that the site is now only being used to store large items like movie props and Port-o-Potties. Tellalian believes the current project complements the neighborhood's aesthetic, and draws the line at making big changes to the project to comply with the wishes of some residents who want the building to be used for something horse-related. "Our site is not a horse stable, never was a stable and is not zoned for horse-keeping," Tellalian said.
AVA is attacking the project on several fronts. There's the traditional petition approach in place, but they're also hitting the project with some red tape. Atwater Village Always is attempting to gain historic monument status for the factory and showroom currently standing on the site. They claim the Edward Killingsworth designed structures are a fine example of Southern California mid-century Modern architecture, and worthy of saving.
In addition to gathering 1,000 petition signatures also appear to have an ally in Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell. "The community has responded with considerable opposition to the project as proposed," O'Farrell spokesperson Tony Arranaga told the Ledger. "And the councilmember stands with the community."
In addition to the community backlash, plans for construction to begin in 2016 have hit another slight snag, as the city has revoked the demolition permit La Kretz obtained in 2014, saying it has been issued in error. Near the proposed townhouse site, La Kretz is planning to put up a suspension bridge that would help pedestrians, cyclists, and horses cross the river between Atwater and Griffith Park.