ATWATER VILLAGE (CBSLA.com) — In the Atwater Village Rancho neighborhood, it’s not unusual to see horses on the road alongside cars.
“It’s sort of the last little area that’s equestrian in the city of L.A,” says resident Jackie Sloan.
And people like Sloan, who runs a therapeutic equestrian program for kids, are trying to keep it that way.
They want to stop developers, who plan to tear down a former wallpaper plant and build 60 three-story townhouses on the site on Chevy Chase Drive.
“Some people worry about traffic, some people worry about noise, the equestrians worry about the safety around the public arenas and trails,” Sloan says.
Critics of the development say it would be too big and too dense in this quiet equestrian enclave. Sloan told Kim the density would make it harder for the therapeutic work she does with kids.
Krystal Chang believes horses aren’t the only four-legged residents that would be affected.
“We let him off leash and kind or run and play fetch. And if there’s more cars, people and more traffic, I’ll be less inclined to come here,” says Chang about her pooch.
“It’s a gentle balance that we’re working hard to keep,” Sloan says.
Kim said the developer wasn’t available for comment but a spokesperson for the project told the Los Feliz Ledger that the townhouses would actually “improve the neighborhood aesthetic and replaces a nuisance site that currently stores port-a-potties and movie props bringing big rigs through the residential neighborhood.”
“My message is come and ride a few horses with us. And see what is it that this community needs, what would make it better? Sometimes when you’re not in it, it’s hard to know that answer,” Sloan says.
Opponents of the townhouse development say they’ve collected over 1400 signatures on their petition. Sloan plans to present it to council member Mitch O’Farrell for his consideration.