Developer to pay more in relocation costs for tenants

first_imgBowing to pressure from City Council members, a developer agreed to pay an additional $20,000 in relocation costs for tenants evicted from a Valley Village apartment building to clear the way for approval of a condominium project. Developer Gary Schaffel, under terse questioning from Councilman Bill Rosendahl, agreed to make the additional payment to end the controversy that had surrounded his project after a city planner mistakenly left a telephone message with a tenant promising the developer would win approval “no matter what.” Former tenants in the building played the taped message at hearings, and raised concern that the project approval process had been tainted. They also appealed the project, saying the developer should have paid higher relocation fees recently enacted by the city. But they defended the decision Chiang had reached in approving the tract map for the development. Schaffel said he felt sorry for Chiang. “Had I gotten that message on my phone, I wouldn’t have taken it as anything more than the conditions of the appeal had no merit and would be rejected,” he said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsThe agreement by Schaffel won him approval, on a 11-0 vote, for the project to build 78 units at 11933 Magnolia Boulevard. Schaffel said he had already given $20,000 for tenant relocation money above what was legally required. But he said he was willing to pay tenants an additional $20,000 for “peace of mind” and to get his project moving. Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, in whose district the project is located, said she was upset by the telephone call made by planner Jack Chiang, but that it did not change the reasoning for approval of the project. “I’m pleased that we were able to get the additional money for tenants,” Greuel said, but added: “The process was a messy process that didn’t necessarily make the city look good, but the desired outcome was achieved.” Officials in the Planning Department roundly criticized Chiang for his telephone call and said he is being disciplined. last_img

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