IMT Sherman Oaks Project – Traffic Study Update
Our Sunkist Project committee, along with involved neighbors, continues to meet with IMT (the Sunkist project’s new owner/developers) IMT Sherman Oaks Project as well as with our Councilmember Ryu’s Planning staff. It appears some progress is being made at revising the design to be more compatible with our neighborhood—but we have a ways to go! IMT has listened to our concerns and is considering beneficial revisions.
Our goal is to sufficiently mitigate the significant negative impacts this huge development will bring—so that we end up with a development that BENEFITS our community and our quality of life here in Sherman Oaks, rather than detracts from it!
Soon, we will be meeting with IMT’s Traffic Study creators. We have significant concerns about the methods used to create the study, and we’re concerned the study’s conclusions are flawed and thereby underestimate the actual traffic impacts the project will bring. IMT has been conducting their own community outreach and are representing to neighbors that our community should have no concerns about this project. However, we have studied the proposed project’s plans in depth and we feel differently! Through meetings with our neighbors, we know that our concerns are also of concern to a large majority of Councilmember Ryu’s Sherman Oaks constituents, especially in areas closer to the Sunkist site. However, without the benefit of proper studies conducted (and corresponding mitigation measures employed), a development this massive will affect nearly all of Sherman Oaks.
Councilmember Ryu needs to hear IMMEDIATELY of our community’s concerns and our demand for action–So let’s make our voices heard!
Please use the attached letter as a framework for your own comments. If you are so inclined, a custom letter is best; however, in lieu of a personal letter, it is important to sign and send this letter to Councilmember Ryu WITHOUT DELAY (and you can add your own handwritten comments to the form letter, which adds validity and authenticity).
Email your letter to SunkistBulidingExpansion@gmail.com or mail to SOHA Sunkist Committee, P.O. Box 5223, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413 and we will forward to Councilmember Ryu. We will also be collecting them at the May 17 SOHA Meeting.
PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS IN SHERMAN OAKS! A united community is a powerful community! Please take action today!
Thank you –- Your support and participation are needed and appreciated!
<<<Click here for the SAMPLE LETTER>>>
Or copy and paste the text below
Dear Councilman Ryu,
As a community member and a constituent, I thank you for your efforts thus far in protecting our community from over-development. We know the principals of IMT Sherman Oaks Project are currently seeking your support to obtain changes in zoning, entitlements and other exceptions in order to build this project as they wish.
Please know our community is keenly watchful and EXTREMELY CONCERNED regarding several hugely-problematic issues: Insufficient Public Services (fire/police), Aesthetics and Design (not fitting Community Character), Loss of Trees and current Open Space, Construction Disruption, Air/Noise Quality–and the compounded impacts other large, pending developments nearby will bring! But two issues—Traffic Congestion and Parking—will inflict massive problems from the outset (and forever should comprehensive mitigation measures fail to be incorporated NOW). Unless these issues are fully addressed, this development will cause huge negative impacts–not only to adjacent neighborhoods but to Sherman Oaks at large! The Draft Environmental Impact Report and its traffic study are severely deficient in failing to accurately evaluate impacts, and failure to present appropriate mitigations. Thus, the flawed DEIR fails entirely to provide any reasonable justification to the developer-sought planning exemptions.
TRAFFIC STUDY fails to properly access current conditions to predict future impacts:
The LADOT recognizes the need to include heaviest traffic days in their Guidelines Section 2.2c page 15. HOWEVER:
–The Sunkist study was done on a day and time which completely fail to illustrate true area traffic flow! The study, performed on a January weekday between 7-10 a.m. and 3-6 p.m., wholly misrepresents actual traffic for this location. Traffic generated by the Westfield Fashion Square Mall is not simple rush hour traffic, rather, it comprises a significant amount of holiday shopping traffic throughout the year (which was completely omitted from the traffic study!). Area residents and passersby are well aware that early January is the year’s lowest mall traffic period! Valid traffic studies must not only represent typical traffic—it must include an area’s worst traffic periods. Consider that Westfield mall traffic drastically increases during many periods throughout the year: Halloween Special Events – 1 Week; Thanksgiving and Black Friday – 4 Weeks; Christmas – 4+ Weeks; New Year’s Sales/Christmas Returns – 2 Weeks; Valentines Day – 1 Week; Mothers Day – 1 Week; Fathers Day – 1 Week; Memorial Day – 1 Week; 4th of July – 1 Week; Labor Day – 1 Week. PLUS numerous other Special Sales and Events Publicized by the Mall. Encompassing well over FOUR months of every year, these high traffic periods MUST be included in a comprehensive study in order for it to be deemed accurate! These high-traffic periods necessitate the Mall to employ special traffic control at several entrances to insure functioning traffic flow. Then factor in the traffic impact of the Mall’s approved expansion plans (up to 200,000 sq. ft. beyond the current square footage and client draw).
–Additionally, many times the traffic is backed up for left turns in every direction at Riverside and Hazeltine. This backup was not addressed or noted in the traffic study, and thus no mitigation measures were suggested.
–Significant traffic at the signal on Hazeltine under the 101 Freeway already causes backup beyond Valleyheart to the north. With this intersection being one of only two full access points to the Sunkist site, this situation will immediately become untenable. Again, this was not even a consideration in the survey and mitigations.
–Likewise, the traffic back-up on Woodman in both directions near the 101 is significant.
–The traffic study (under)estimated that the project will create approximately 4,000 car trips per day. According to the study, this is considered to be an insignificant impact on the current traffic. To believe this requires a complete suspension of reality!
PARKING must be a major consideration for any project in this area. Several issues have either not been addressed, or unworkable conclusions were presented:
–The project has used many “credits” to reduce the number of parking spaces required. Any mass transit convenient to this location is in reality grossly insufficient to claim these credits by LADOT guidelines 4.7a Parking Demand and Utilization Analyses page 23.
–A significant number of street parking spaces will be removed from use. No offset has been included in the parking requirement.
–The type of parking required has not been described. Free parking, restricted access parking, tenant parking, and tenant guest parking are not specified.
–We note the inclusion of an overabundance of bike parking was utilized to lessen required car parking.
–Added measures must be employed in order that ALL parking needed by this change of use be anticipated and provided for on the property. Additional steps must be considered to facilitate on-premises parking and not spill over into adjacent neighbors, i.e. necessitating restricted parking districts, control of pedestrian traffic onto complex, etc.
These are but a few of the issues community members have grave concerns about. The community is hopeful that you, Councilmember Ryu, will protect your constituents and insure that these and other concerns are fully addressed without delay. This project will surely change the nature of the Sherman Oaks Community near and far. The effects will be permanent once the project is built. The issues won’t resolve themselves & traffic will never lessen!
Signature__________________________Print Name________________________ Email:______________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________ City______________________ State ______ Zip ________