By ALEXANDRIA BORDAS | Reporter
A new group consisting of community members, local organizations and concerned neighbors has recently formed to continue to fight the approved expansion plans for the Archer School for Girls. The group calls themselves Sunset Coalition and is organized by Brentwood resident David Wright.
For months concerned residents, along with Councilmember Mike Bonin, have been requesting the expansion plans be modified and downsized to accurately reflect the impacts the construction project will have on traffic and the overall livelihood of Archer School neighbors.
“We are trying to marginally reduce the project. As my wife says we are trying to ‘control the kraken,” Wright said.
The project timeline was originally slated to last six years, which incensed community members who called on Bonin to make a statement.
Last fall Bonin outlined principles he felt represented community needs. After months of intense negotiations, Bonin released a statement that the Brentwood Homeowners Association, the Residential Neighbors of Archer and the Archer School reached a compromise agreement on a scaled-down version of the Archer Forward project.
“This is a groundbreaking agreement, which actually manages to reduce Sunset Blvd. traffic to levels lower than what exist today,” Bonin said in an online statement. “It sets a new bar for every institution on the Sunset corridor and it will help address one of the most pressing issues facing our neighborhood: traffic.”
Although the project is now outlined to last three years as opposed to the original six, Wright said there is much more work to be done to fight to further reduce the size and impact of the Archer project.
“We are concerned that some neighbors feel the battle is over, but City Council still needs to put its final seal of approval on it,” Wright said. “This is the most massive construction project by far in over 100 years in this area and if City Council does rubber stamp it the fight will only intensify.”
Sunset Coalition held a meeting on Thursday, July 16 and Wright said attendees included both Archer neighbors and Palisadians who could potentially be affected by construction.
“We had a great meeting and our petition is now available online opposing the project,” Wright said. “Time is of the essence, since City Council is expected to take up this matter shortly after it returns from summer recess in early August which is now just two weeks away.”
Sunset Coalition has been meeting with multiple homeowner associations in a handful of neighborhoods to continue the conversation regarding the Archer School expansion.
“The biggest issue is no one is being told about any of this and we need an informed community,” Wright said.
He added, “We’re going to be taking out ads everywhere we can to make sure Bonin knows there are 10,000 to 15,000 people who are fighting against this. We will stage protests if we have to.”
To learn more about Sunset Coalition and to sign the petition www.sunsetcoalition.org
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