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Disney construction angers residents

They cite problems with traffic, noise and dust from work on childcare center.

August 27, 2010|By Melanie Hicken, melanie.hicken@latimes.com
(Raul Roa )

City officials this week got an earful from a group of local residents who said they are fed up with months of noise, dust and traffic associated with construction on the Walt Disney Co.'s massive creative campus.

At the City Council meeting on Tuesday, residents on the 1300 block of Truitt Street said they have asked Disney and city officials to ease the effects of construction on a new childcare facility being built a mere 30 feet from their homes.

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City officials — who told the residents they had passed their concerns to Disney officials and were unaware they had not been resolved — agreed to set up a neighborhood meeting with all stakeholders to address the issues.

"Let's get some mitigation to this," Councilman John Drayman said. "I can't imagine what you're going through."

The residents cited constant beeping and other construction noise, in addition to dirt and dust, truck traffic and cramped parking. The worst, they said, included a week of earthquake-like conditions during demolition and dirt compactions that left cracks and other damage to their homes.

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"All of these issues are happening on a daily basis," said resident Kevin Barry. "All these issues are happening for months now. We really feel we are not getting the help we need."

The construction is part of an expansion project on Disney's 125-acre campus in northwest Glendale that currently includes the headquarters of KABC-TV and two 125,000-square-foot buildings completed on Flower Street in 2006.

City officials have long lauded the development as a major boost to the city's industrial corridor. But on Tuesday, council members took a harsher stance, agreeing with the residents that construction conditions could improve.

"I've been driving around the neighborhood for months now, and it's been a mess," said Councilman Frank Quintero.

A Disney spokeswoman on Wednesday countered that the company had adhered to city requirements and the project's development agreement.

The residents urged the City Council to consider enacting stricter regulations on private construction projects to protect residents in the future.

"I believe that any firm that can undertake a construction or development project of any size should be mandated to undertake mitigation measures to offset the negative impacts of the construction," said resident Jennifer Pinkerton.

While construction on the childcare facility is almost complete, construction on a six-story office building on the campus is set to begin in September.

"Given that Disney is going to be doing more construction on their campus, I want to be sure that this is dealt with now," Councilwoman Laura Friedman said.

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