LETTER: It’s Now or Never in the Highlands!

The proposed Highlands eldercare building is too large by code. But the developer now says the project will include a bistro.
Rendering: Urbanize LA

(Editor’s note: Circling the News recieved the following letter from Highlands resident Steve Cron.)

Dear fellow Palisadians,

For several years, the Pacific Palisades Residents Association (PPRA) has been fighting to stop, or at least downsize, the proposed eldercare facility at the corner of Palisades Drive and Vereda de la Montura in the Highlands. It’s now the bottom of the ninth, and we still have a chance to be successful, but time is running out quickly.

I’ve been against this project since its inception, for a lot of reasons:

First, the project is going to be four stories, 64,646 sq. ft. of space above ground, well over twice the size of any other building in the Highlands, it will block views of the mountains by homeowners, and it doesn’t comply with local, state, and coastal zoning laws.

Second, as all Highlanders know, we live in a very high-risk fire zone. We’ve all seen the devastating effect that fires can have on small communities which are surrounded by forests. I’ve spoken with numerous Los Angeles Fire Department Chiefs, and they have all said that in every fire their first priority is to save human life, especially those who are unable to save themselves. If, and when, a major fire attacks the Highlands, the LAFD will have to focus on saving the lives of nearly 100 elderly residents, many of whom will be infirm and unable to evacuate on their own, thus leaving other families and homes at greater risk.

Third, the constant flow of excavation, hauling, drilling, and construction equipment and vehicles will increase the noise, dirt and debris throughout large sections of the Highlands for a long time.

Fourth, once the project is completed, there will be substantially more traffic and less available parking on Palisades Drive and Vereda de la Montura, as staff comes to work at the facility, vendors deliver their goods, and visitors come, park for a while, and then go.  The planned underground garage is simply not large enough to handle all the parking.  Nor can visitors be required to even use the garage.  Additionally, the residents will have to be driven regularly back and forth in vans or buses to various businesses and medical appointments in the Palisades or Santa Monica.

Fifth, when a resident of the facility needs to be taken to an emergency room, the closest hospitals are in Santa Monica, which are at least 20 minutes away, even with their sirens blaring.

In short, this is the wrong project for this location. The PPRA- sponsored litigation against the developer and the City of Los Angeles, trying to stop this project. I’ve read large parts of the transcript of the “trial,” after which the judge ruled against the PPRA. I’ve been a lawyer for over 45 years, and although I did not represent the PPRA in this action, I’ve read significant  portions of the trial transcript, and the trial conducted by the judge made these proceedings very susceptible to an appeal.

During the trial, at one point the judge said that he had changed his mind about the proceedings and was going to have all parties return for further proceedings, then without notice, filed an order in favor of the defense. There was no closing argument, and no opportunity to address the judge’s expressed concerns.

I believe that the PPRA has a good chance to prevail on appeal, but appeals take money. PPRA has raised a lot of money, but they need a lot of money within the next 30 days in order to pursue the appeal. Please join me in digging deep to send the PPRA as much as you can. If no appeal is filed, it’ll all be over, and you can probably expect to see construction begin this summer or fall.

It’s now or never! Please send as much as you can to PPRA at:



Fire crews worked along Palisades Drive on October 22, after extinguishing the October 21 fire. The road was closed to two-way traffic.

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6 Responses to LETTER: It’s Now or Never in the Highlands!

  1. Gordon Gerson says:

    Steve Cron is absolutely correct. This project is totally inappropriate for the Highlands. The approval process has been flawed and suggests foul play. The developer’s lead attorney has been described as one of the most powerful lobbyists in the area.
    PLEASE help stop corruption and this disaster for the Highlands.

  2. Ralph Gidwitz says:

    I would prefer to donate directly to PPRA. Not through Go Fund Me. How is that done?

  3. Janis Gallo says:

    I completely agree, the wrong project for that space for all of the reasons stated. What more can we do besides donate ( many of us have) ? How can we find out about the status of our court case and appeal??

  4. Sarah Conner says:

    You can call 310 871 7600. Or mail checks to PPRA 15000 Mc Kendree Avenue 90272

  5. PPRA says:

    Please follow us at Palisadesresidents.com.

    We are attempting to raise funds so we may appeal. The appeals process is

  6. Ed says:

    This building site has been zoned commercial before we all moved here. As we all get older we will need this facility to be able to continue to live in the beautiful Highlands.

    It will be great to have something built on this long empty lot.

    This facility will raise property values by adding a much needed function in the Highlands.

    Please don’t expect me to contribute.

    Have a nice day!

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