Larry Buford

*Attorneys for developer A Community of Friends (ACOF) has requested that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors deny the appeal to stop construction of a ‘low to very low income’ apartment complex on Avalon Boulevard in South Los Angeles. The proposed site is located in the unincorporated community of  West Rancho Dominguez-Victoria in the county’s Second District.

The letter sent by Tim Riley & Associates claims that ACOF satisfied all the requirements to move forward with the multi-million dollar project, and that the claims of Friends and Neighbors Community Club (FNCC) that represents the community are unfounded. The appeal hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, August 14th.

During the initial hearing before the Regional Planning Commission on June 6th, there was a motion that the hearing be postponed because there was no representation from the Second District. An ACOF representative complained that a postponement would cause them to lose a tax break in July of which they would not qualify for again until March 2013. The motion was then withdrawn and the project was unanimously approved despite the 1000 petition signatures from the community in opposition which were never even acknowledged.

One of the issues is the fact that of the qualifying residents for the proposed three-story 55-unit apartment complex, 70% of them will be heads of household with a mental illness due to some form of substance abuse. ACOF has failed to show that their pool of applicants include any of the local population so that rather than mitigating the homelessness and vagrancy problem within the community, they are bringing in people from other communities and adding to what is already a very weak infrastructure. There are other issues that those in attendance at the June 6th hearing could not relay in the allotted three minutes time. The appeal would serve to let those concerns be voiced with back-up.

“The railroad decision handed down on June 6th just goes to show they are not really concerned about the community, only the money. It’s kind of like some of the hospitals were dropping people off on skid row − they’re dropping off people here but in a more sophisticated manner. We have enough problems over here that are not being properly addressed,” says one resident.