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Nam coni3rni
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Thank you.
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CRATTEN-BROWN & CARSTENS LLP


2 Douglas P. Carstens, SBN 193439
Michelle Black, SBN 261962
3 2200 Pacific Coast Hwy, Suite 318
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.
4
3.10.798.2400; Fax 310.798.2402

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SEP CO 2015
Sherri R. Carter, Executive Officer/Clerk

ty.

OF ORIGINAL FILED

By: Moses Solo, Deputy

Attorneys for Petitioners


Sunset Coalition,
Brentwood Residents Coalition,
Brentwood Hills Homeowners Association,
David and Zofia Wright

10

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

11

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

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13
14
15

SUNSET COALITION; BRENTWOOD


RESIDENTS COALITION; BRENTWOOD
HILLS HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION;
and DAVID AND ZOFIA WRIGHT
Petitioners,

16
17
18
19
20

v.
CITY OF LOS ANGELES
Respondent.
ARCHER SCHOOL FOR GIRLS,
Does 1-10

21
22

Real Parties In Interest

23

) CASE NO.:

BS 15 7 ..13 11

)
)
) PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE
)
)
))
(Violation of California Environmental
) Quality Act and Los Angeles Municipal Code)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)

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25

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Printed on Recycled Paper

PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

ATTORNEY OR PARTY INITHOUT ATIORHEY Mom, Melo Bar Monk* and Walesa):

Douglas P. Carsteos, SIM' 193439


Chasten-Brown & Carstens LLP
2200 Pacific Coast Hielimay, Ste. 318
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
TELEPHONE NO.:

310-798-2400

Plow conform
ad xeturn.
Zook YOU.

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FOR COURT usr ONLY

.1.:O1 It'IJIVALL, 4...AUr


OF ORIGINAL FILED

310-798-2402
et al,

PAX NO.:

ATTORNEY FOR (Nome Pei:WOO:WS Sunset COalitkil

SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF

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Los Angeles

STREET ADDRESS! 111 North Kill Street


mAILING Amiss: 111 North 11111 Street
CITY MO a' OODE LosAngeles,. CA 90012
BRANCH NAME; Central-Distnet

SEP 0.9 2015


Sherri R. Carter, Execudve Officer/Clerk
By:Moses Soto, Deputy

CASE NAME:

Sunset Coalition et al Vs. City of Los Angeles


CIVIL CASE COVER SHEET
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(Amount
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demanded is
demanded
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exceeds $25,000)

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1. Check one box below for the case type that best describes this case:
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Writ of mandate (02)


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Is not complex under rule 3.400 of the California Rules of Court. If the case is complex, mark the
2. This case 11_1 is
factors requiring exceptional judicial management:
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issues that will be time-consuming to resolve
in other counties, states, or countries, or In a federal court
c.
Substantial amount of documentary evidence
f. 0 Substantial postjudgment judicial supervision

El
ED

1:=1

E3

LK]

C7
CI
Fl
El

CD
ED

3. Remedies sought (check all that apply): a.= monetary b.EI nonmonetary, declaratory or injunctive relief c. =punitive
4. Number of causes of action (specify): two
ED is not a class action suit,
6, This case [Ti is
6, If there are any known related cases, file and serve a notice of related case. (You may use form CM-015.)
'Date: September 9,

2015

Douglas P. Carstens

(TYPE OR PRINT NOR

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MVW,000n5fir0.0040V

1
2
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4

CHATTEN-BROWN & CARSTENS LLP


Douglas P. Carstens, SBN 193439
Michelle Black, SBN 261962
2200 Pacific Coast Hwy, Suite 318
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
310.798.2400; Fax 310.798.2402

5
6
7
8
9

Attorneys for Petitioners


Sunset Coalition,
Brentwood Residents Coalition,
Brentwood Hills Homeowners Association,
David and Zofia Wright

10

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

11

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

12
13
14
15

SUNSET COALITION; BRENTWOOD


RESIDENTS COALITION; BRENTWOOD
HILLS HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION;
and DAVID AND ZOFIA WRIGHT
Petitioners,

16
17
18
19
20

v.
CITY OF LOS ANGELES
Respondent.
ARCHER SCHOOL FOR GIRLS,
Does 1-10

21
22

Real Parties In Interest

23

) CASE NO.:
)
)
) PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE
)
)
)
(Violation of California Environmental
)
Quality
Act and Los Angeles Municipal Code)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)

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Printed on Recycled Paper

PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

1
2

INTRODUCTION
I.

Over strong public opposition and in violation of the California Environmental

Quality Act (CEQA), on August 4, 2015, the City of Los Angeles ("City") certified an

environmental impact report (EIR), approved a statement of overriding considerations, and

approved a conditional use permit (CUP) for the Archer School For Girls ("Archer" or

"School") expansion project ("Project"). This massive expansion project would involve the

construction of over 230,000 square feet, including a new underground parking structure, two-

story Multi-Purpose Facility with two gyms, Performing Arts Center, Visual Arts Center,

sunken garden and major remodel of the existing buildings. The proposed $80-$100 million

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Archer School expansion project will be one of the largest and most disruptive construction

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projects on Sunset Boulevard in over 100 years, since the Beverly Hills Hotel opened in 1912.

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2.

The draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for the Project identified significant

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impacts to the environment in the areas of traffic (construction and operations phases), noise

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(construction and operations phases), and air quality (construction phase) as a result of adding

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new facilities, remodeling existing facilities, and significantly intensifying the use of the site. In

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addition, the DEIR understated and improperly evaluated the impacts of the proposed project on

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land use, traffic, noise, and air quality. The impacts of the proposed project will significantly

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burden not only the nearby residential community, but also the entire west side of Los Angeles

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as the Project adds to the cumulative effect of other development projects through three years or

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more of construction and ongoing increased use and activity at the campus. The cumulative

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impacts due to past, current, and likely future projects such as the Brentwood School expansion,

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the Mount St. Mary's College expansion, and development of Rick Caruso's Palisades Village

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in Pacific Palisades were not adequately considered.

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3.

The design of Archer's Project places major portions of the expansion of the

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campus directly next to residences along Chaparal and other residential streets. Increased

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activity on campus would take place not just in the main building as it primarily occurs with

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current operations, but will be pushed toward the outer edges of the campus closest to the

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residences.

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

4.

The Archer School moved to the current location in 1998, despite extensive public

opposition to its being shoehorned into an inappropriate site for a school in the midst of a

residentially zoned neighborhood. The site is problematic as it is immediately surrounded by

over 200 residences - both multifamily and single family residences - on a parcel of a size well

below standards set for adequate school sites by the California Department of Education's

Guide to School Site Analysis and Development. Only after Archer agreed to, and the City

imposed, extensive conditions limiting its size and operations was Archer granted a CUP to

open at this location in 1998. With its current approval, Archer plans to undo those carefully

negotiated 1998 conditions that protected the surrounding neighborhood and region.
5.

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One of the options presented in the environmental review for the Project was

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known as Alternative 2. This alternative would have supported expansion of the School within

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the limits of the previously approved environmental impact report and 1998 CUP. However,

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Alternative 2 was not seriously considered by the City's Planning Commission or City Council.

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Eleven community organizations, including local homeowner and resident associations and

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over 1,700 individual residents supported expansion of the property as described in Alternative

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2.

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6.

Despite overwhelming community opposition, the School sought and ultimately

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was successful in obtaining City approval of a Project substantially increasing the footprint of

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its built environment. Included in the School's plans were facilities for a Performing Arts

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Center that far exceeded the maximum allowable floor area ratio for the residential parcel on

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which it would be located.

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7.

Construction of the massive expansion Project was originally planned over a six-

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year (72 month) construction period. In the face of strong community opposition, this was

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compressed into a construction schedule Archer claims can be accomplished in only three years

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(36 months). Despite the significant air quality, noise, and construction traffic impacts this

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change would have, given that faster construction would require more intense construction

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during the 36 months than would have been required with the original 72-month schedule, the

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draft EIR for the Project was not recirculated. Instead the School and City claimed that project

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

impacts were sufficiently analyzed in earlier documents, even though details about the

construction equipment to be used or three-year schedule were not released to the public in time

for public review.

8.

The Archer School site sits adjacent to one of the most significantly congested

intersections on the west side of the City of Los Angeles, at the crossing of Sunset Boulevard

and Barrington Avenue. This intersection is commonly known as a chokepoint for traffic. The

School's only entrance is a non-signalized driveway located directly on Sunset Boulevard just

west of Barrington Avenue. Thus, to the nightmare traffic situation already existing for

commuters and residents on Sunset Boulevard, Archer proposes to add tens of thousands of

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trips for cement-mixers, dump-trucks, semi trucks hauling bulldozers and skip-loaders. Each of

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these construction vehicles would receive privileged access to and egress from the campus by

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Archer's flagmen, further impeding the already-stopped traffic on Sunset. These construction-

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traffic effects, injected into a suddenly new and compressed three-year time-frame, were not

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analyzed in Archer's EIR traffic analysis but were instead prepared on the eve of the City

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Council final approval of the Project, without notice to the public.

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9.

Because the City failed to provide adequate environmental review with full

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disclosure of the Project's extensive adverse impacts, reviewable by the public, as required by

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the California Environmental Quality Act, and because it violated its own Municipal Code in

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approving the Project's oversized buildings in a residential area, the City's approvals of the

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Project must be set aside as an abuse of discretion.


JURISDICTION

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10. This Court has jurisdiction over the writ action under section 1094.5 of the Code
of Civil Procedure.
11. This Court also has jurisdiction over the writ action under section 1085 of the
Code of Civil Procedure, and sections 21168 and 21168.5 of the Public Resources Code.
PARTIES

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27
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12.

Petitioner Sunset Coalition is an unincorporated association that includes

representatives of Westside of Los Angeles Neighborhood & Community Coalition

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

(WLANCC), Upper Mandeville Canyon Association (UMCA), the Residential Neighbors of


2

Archer (RNA), David and Zofia Wright, and numerous others. These associations and

individuals are opposed to approval of the Archer project as it is currently designed and instead

favor an alternativedesignated Alternative 2 in the environmental review documentsthat

implements Archer's original 1998 CUP, and still allows Archer to build a gym on the premises

and make other upgrades to its facilities.

13. The Brentwood Residents Coalition (BRC) is a non-profit advocacy group

dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the environment and quality of life in the

Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. It was actively involved throughout the

10
11

administrative review of the Project.


14. The Brentwood Hills Homeowners Association ("Brentwood Hills") is a

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homeowners' association in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles, representing 450 homes on the

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west ridge of Mandeville Canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains. It should not be confused

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with the Brentwood Homeowners Association ("BHA"), which represents a different portion of

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Brentwood. Brentwood Hills was actively involved throughout the administrative review of the

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Project.

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15. Petitioners David and Zofia Wright are individuals who live adjacent to the School

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on Chaparal Street. The Wrights would be impacted by the Project in several ways. They

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would be impacted by the thousands of construction vehicle trips departing the Archer site that

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would need to queue into the left-turn lanes of southbound N. Barrington Avenue in order to

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turn left onto Sunset Boulevard. They would be impacted by the significant intensification of

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Archer's post-construction activities, such as loud spectators at sports events in bleachers less

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than 200 feet from their home, and by the increased traffic associated with Archer's intensified

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operations.

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16.

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California.

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Respondent City of Los Angeles is a political subdivision of the State of

17. Real Party in Interest Archer School for Girls is the applicant and recipient of the
approvals associated with the Project.

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

1
2

I S.

Real parties named as Does I to X are given fictitious names because their names

and capacities are presently unknown to Petitioner.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

3
4

The Project Site and Its Surroundings.

19. The Project is located on an approximately seven (7) acre site adjacent to Sunset

Boulevard on the southerly side, adjacent to Chaparal Street on the northerly side, adjacent to

North Westgate Avenue on the west side, and adjacent to North Barrington Avenue on the

eastern side.

20.

The intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Barrington Avenue, near where Archer

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is located, has been rated by the City as a Level of Service "F" quality intersection. This means

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that the intersection is considered dysfunctional and failed intersection. Indeed, this

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intersection is one of the worst in the City. Level of Service "F" is the lowest possible and

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worst designation of traffic functionality.

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21.

During the morning rush hour, from approximately 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., the

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east-bound direction of Sunset Boulevard is a traffic jam as people living in Mandeville Canyon

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west to Pacific Palisades commute toward downtown Los Angeles.

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22.

Sunset Boulevard provides the sole means of access, ingress and egress to the

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Brentwood Hills area of Los Angeles. In the past five years, traffic has worsened such that by

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3:00 p.m., it often takes 1.5 hours or more to travel the two miles from Mandeville Canyon to

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the 1-405 Freeway, making access east to other parts of the City very difficult. Afternoon

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traffic is often backed up at a standstill as far as Cliffwood Avenue, and sometimes as far as

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Burlingame Avenue.

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23.

Many Brentwood Hills residents have expressed that after 3:00 p.m., they are

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"prisoners in their own community," with potentially lethal consequences in the next wildfire,

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earthquake, or medical-evacuation emergency. Many community members are concerned for

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their safety in case of an emergency. The response times from Los Angeles Fire Department

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Station #19, which serves the area, are among the worst in the City. Traffic associated with the

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Project would make emergency response times worse.

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

24.

The site consists of the existing Archer campus (6.3 acres) and two adjacent

residences which would be demolished and removed. One of the two adjacent lots is proposed

to be divided, albeit without following the proper procedures, leaving a Project site of

approximately seven total acres in size. As shown on Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering

Cadastral Maps, eight separate subdivided lots make up the Project site. The two lots fronting

on Sunset Boulevard are designated R3-1 while the other six lots are designated RE 11-1.

The 1998 CUP Allowing School Use on Site.

25.

9
10

The Archer School was founded in 1995 in the Pacific Palisades. Archer then

searched for a larger campus and identified the current site, which at that time served as the
Eastern Star Home for retired members of the Order of the Eastern Star.

11

26.

In 1998, the Archer School obtained a CUP to authorize the establishment of a

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private school. After a lengthy EIR process and extensive negotiations between the School, the

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neighbors, the Brentwood Homeowners Association (which is distinct from Brentwood Hills

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Homeowners Association) and the City Councilmember's office, Zoning Administrator (ZA)

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Dan Green approved a Conditional Use Permit for Archer that satisfied all of the findings

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required by the Los Angeles Municipal Code.

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27. In the 1998 CUP, the City found that the appropriate size and use of the School

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were met with a physical footprint that did not include the Chaparal or Barrington Parcels and

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allowed one gym of 12,000 square feet, a Main Building (which includes the North Wing), 109

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parking spaces, hours of operation Monday through Friday 7:00 am to 6:00 pm for instruction,

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38 special events per year, no rental or outside use of the facilities, and no summer school. The

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1998 CUP allows Archer to construct a gymnasium facility, but Archer chose not to build the

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gym.

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28. The Project site is home to an historic building adjacent to Sunset Boulevard and is

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surrounded on the other three sides by low-density residential zoning, including single-family

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residences on Chaparal and Westgate and multi-family residences on Barrington and Sunset.

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Part of the fourth side- Archer's southern boundary- includes apartment complexes on Sunset

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Boulevard, thus resulting in approximately 91% of Archer's perimeter being adjacent to

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

residences. Because the project was "shoehorned" into the residential neighborhood, the 1998

conditions of approval were carefully crafted to balance School's need to educate its students

with the community's need for quiet enjoyment of the neighborhood.

29. At every Plan Approval since Archer began operating at its Brentwood location in

1998 (determination letters for Plan Approvals were issued January 25, 2001, June 17, 2004,

November 14, 2007 and July 29, 2013), Archer sought increases and changes to the conditions

that were originally placed in the 1998 CUP to increase its programs and diminish protections

for adjacent neighbors and neighborhood preservation. For example, in 2001, after one year of

operating at its present location, Archer requested permission to use loudspeakers, public

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address systems or amplified voice and music at various events despite previously agreeing to

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1998 CUP Condition 34, Noise Mitigation, which expressly prohibited the use of amplified

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sound except for one day per school year for graduation.

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30. In 2001, at the very first review of its compliance with the Conditional Use Permit,

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Archer sought to weaken the conditions that protected the neighbors from noise impacts. In a

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January 25, 2001 determination letter, ZA Dan Green stated, "This particular request has

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neither neighbor nor Council Office support. It is anathema to the efforts of peaceful

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coexistence hammered out in 1998/1999 under the auspices of the Councilwoman of the

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district. While loudspeakers may be typical of school fairs, it is no doubt a noisy impact.

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Given the adjacency of residential buildings to the north, east, and west of the property to

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within 4 feet of the playing field, there is no practical way to effectively corral the sound. At

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the hearing I suggested that the fair could theoretically be held elsewhere, and the applicant

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itself has requested amending the conditions to authorize a fair every other year rather than

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annually As stated in two previous instances, the proposed change presents a one-way burden

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to be shouldered exclusively by neighbors. The appearance of fairness is a concern to all;

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compromises among competing interests should not be tossed aside a year later unless

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circumstances have changed. No evidence has been presented upon which the Zoning

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Administrator can justify such a radical departure from the existing limitations."

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The Proposed Archer Expansion Project.

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

31. Instead of seeking to construct the facilities allowed under the 1998 CUP, in the
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2014 Draft EIR, Archer proposed a massive expansion project that went far beyond the

facilities originally contemplated. As approved Archer's project will add three buildings (a

two-story multi-purpose facility to house two gymnasiums, a 395-seat performing arts center

and a visual arts center), an outdoor sunken garden, and an underground parking garage that can

stack 251 cars, increased staff, additional athletic and special events, expanded hours of

activity, summer use, filming, and increased enrollment are foreseeable consequences of this

Project. Archer School enrolled 430 students in the 2011-2012 school year and anticipates

increasing enrollment to 518 through this approval.

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32. Archer's students are divided between the Middle School (grades 6-8) and Upper

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School (grades 9-12). It is not clear how many students would be enrolled in the Middle School

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and how many would be enrolled in the Upper School.

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33.

The California Department of Education's Guide to School Site Analysis and

14

Development provides assistance in planning school facilities. Assuming an even distribution

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amongst the grades, there would be 222 Middle School students and 296 Upper School students

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at maximum enrollment. According to the Guide to School Site Analysis and Development, a

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sixth through eighth grade school of 151 to 300 students would need approximately seven

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acres. A ninth through twelfth grade school of up to 400 students would need just under 20

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acres. The total Project site provides about seven acres for both a middle and a high school, not

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the 27 recommended.

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34. The Project was originally proposed in the February 2014 Draft EIR as consisting

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of improvements to the existing Archer campus totaling 75,930 square feet of net new floor

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area, including: (1) the demolition and replacement of the existing 30,071-square-foot North

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Wing of the Main Building with a 39,071-square-foot renovated North Wing, (2) excavation

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and construction of an approximately 41,400-square-foot Multipurpose Facility, (3) excavation

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and construction of a 22,600-square-foot Performing Arts Center, (4) construction of a 7,400-

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square-foot Visual Arts Center, and (5) construction of an Aquatics Center with a 2,300-square-

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foot support facility, (6) improvements to the outdoor athletic fields to include regulation-size

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

soccer and softball fields, (7) a new underground parking structure located below the athletic

fields to accommodate approximately 212 cars, (8) demolition and removal of existing

residences on two adjacent properties now owned by Archer.

35. The proposed design was modified in small ways as it underwent administrative

review. The difference between the proposed Project's final, slightly reduced form and the

existing site conditions could be summarized as follows: the physical plant would grow from a

total square footage of 96,887 square feet to a total of 148,995 square feet (excluding the

approximately 85,500-square-foot underground parking structure and the sunken North Garden

construction); enrollment would increase from a target of 450 students to a target of 500 with a

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maximum of 518 students; special events would increase from 47 to 71 each year; outside use

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would increase from no summer school and no filming to a six-week summer school session

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and filming on various days; faculty and staff would increase from 95 to 132.

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36.

The Project would require various approvals that could include but would not be

14

limited to: a vesting Conditional Use Permit for private schools; modification of height and area

15

regulations; Zoning Administrator Adjustment to permit fences/gates/walls up to eight feet in

16

height; Site Plan Review; Haul Route permit; Board of Police Commissioners permit for

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extended construction hours; and grading, excavation, demolition, and building permits. hi

18

order to accommodate the proposed development, Archer requested modifications to the height

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and setbacks normally required in the RE 11-1 Zone. The floor area ratio for the proposed

20

project also exceeds the maximum floor area ratio of .35 normally applied in the RE 11-1 Zone.

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37.

The Project as proposed was vigorously opposed by the surrounding community.

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The councilmember for the area, Councilmember Bonin, sent public letters stating various

23

conditions he intended to require for the Project before approval would be granted.

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38. At the Planning Commission review of the Project, the Project had evolved in

25

various ways that had not been reviewed in the Draft E1R. The Aquatics Center was removed

26

from the Project. The construction schedule was compressed from six years to three years.

27

39. Despite these various changes, key elements of the councilmember's stated

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conditions were not included. For example, the floor area ratio of the Performing Arts Center

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

1
2

was not limited to residential standards but instead far exceeded them.
40.

At the City Planning Commission hearing of April 23, 2015, and continuing into

the Planning Commission's determination, Archer refused to accept various critical elements of

the councilmember's reasonable requirements. Archer flatly refused certain terms such as the

following: to apply residential use maximum floor area limits; to prohibit use of the campus for

summer school or other summer programs; to prohibit the use of the campus for commercial

filming. Instead, Archer continued to insist on keeping these components of its proposed

Project.

41.

Members of the public requested that full, updated information and analysis be

10

provided, including new necessary mitigation measures. The public further requested that the

11

EIR be recirculated to reflect the substantial changes that had been made, and changes that had

12

occurred in the regulatory regime applicable to the project- specifically that Office of

13

Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) Guidance for preparation of health risk

14

assessments had been updated with new, more relevant and health protective scientific data.

15

Furthermore, other related projects that would contribute traffic to Sunset Boulevard became

16

known including the Brentwood School expansion, the Mount St. Mary's expansion, and the

17

Palisades Village construction in Pacific Palisades. All of these projects use Sunset Boulevard

18

as their primary transportation access.

19

42.

The City refused to require, and Archer refused to provide, updated information

20

about the construction impacts under the compressed three-year construction schedule. The

21

City refused to require and Archer refused to provide an updated analysis of air quality or noise

22

impacts that would occur under the three-year schedule.

23

43.

Members of the public submitted evidence from air quality, planning, and traffic

24

experts that showed significant impacts could occur that had not been analyzed in the Draft EIR

25

or subsequent Erratas.

26
27
28

44.

The City Planning Commission approved the CUP in April 2015. This approval

was appealed by six appellants to the City Council.


45.

The City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee ("PLUM")

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

heard the appeals on June 30, 2015.


2
3
4

46. On the day of the PLUM hearing, four neighbors and one homeowner's
association reached a private agreement with Archer and withdrew their appeals.
47. The City Council heard the other appeals on August 4, 2015. Denial of the appeals

was placed on the consent calendar, but was called special. Only twenty minutes of public

comment was permitted.

48.

49. The City posted a Notice of Determination for the Project approvals on or about

The City Council approved the CUP and certified the EIR for the Project.

August 11, 2015.

10

EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES

11

AND INADEQUATE REMEDIES AT LAW

12

50. Petitioners objected to the Project in the administrative process and fully exhausted

13

their administrative remedies. Petitioners submitted letters and testified during public hearings

14

for the Project during the comment period raising the issues set forth herein.

15

51. Petitioners have no plain, speedy or adequate remedy in the course of ordinary law

16

unless this Court grants the requested writs of mandate and injunctive relief. In the absence of

17

such remedies, Respondent's approval of the Project would form the basis for a development

18

project that would proceed in violation of state law.

19

52. Petitioners have complied with Public Resources Code section 21167.7 by filing a

20

copy of this petition with the California Attorney General. A copy of that notice is attached as

21

Exhibit A.

22

53.

Petitioners have complied with Public Resources Code section 21167.5 by

23

providing the City of Los Angeles with notice of its intention to commence the action. A copy

24

of that notice is attached as Exhibit B.

25
26

54. Petitioners elect to prepare the administrative record. A copy of that election is
attached as Exhibit C.

27

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION

28

(VIOLATIONS OF THE CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT)

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

55. Petitioners incorporate all previous paragraphs as if fully set forth.

Inadequate Description of Environmental Setting of the Project.

56. CEQA requires an adequate description of the environmental setting of a proposed

project. The DEIR repeatedly errs when it describes the existing conditions on the site by

characterizing existing operations that would be allowed by the 1998 CUP. The School has not

utilized all of the entitlements in the 1998 CUP. The School does not utilize its athletic field on

any Saturdays, has never constructed a gym so cannot utilize that facility during the permitted

hours, and does not enroll a full 518 students. Although 518 students was the School's

enrollment target, Archer and state records for the years 2010-2014 have not disclosed an

10

enrollment exceeding 455 students. CEQA requires that impacts be assessed against the

11

environmental conditions at the time that the analysis commences unless evidence supports use

12

of another environmental baseline. By repeatedly characterizing the existing conditions as those

13

that are theoretically possible under the 1998 CUP, and by not acknowledging that the School's

14

current use differs from the allowed limits of use under the CUP, the DEW repeatedly errs in

15

setting the environmental baseline for the project.


The City relied upon inadequate analysis and mitigation of impacts as it approved
the Project.

16
17

57. CEQA requires the City to conduct an adequate environmental review prior to

18

making any formal decision regarding projects subject to CEQA. (CEQA Guidelines, 14 Cal.

19

Code Regs. 15004). CEQA requires the City to independently determine the objectives of the

20

Project, not to rely upon the project proponent's statement of objectives.

21

58. CEQA imposes upon the City a clear, present and mandatory duty to certify an

22

EIR only if the EIR fully discloses to the public the significant environmental effects that may

23

occur. The EIR for the Project lacks the necessary analysis, including but not limited to, details

24

of the substantially modified project, analysis of the impacts thereof, and of possible

25 alternatives and mitigation measures. Further, CEQA requires adoption of all feasible
26 mitigation measures that will reduce adverse environmental impacts. Many feasible mitigation
27
28

measures were ignored in the EIR.


59. While Archer was required to implement some operational measures to reduce or

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

eliminate all potentially significant and unavoidable impacts from outdoor athletic activity,

more mitigation measures were possible that were not required by the City's approval. Further

conditions to reduce the number of days that athletic events may occur on campus in order to

further reduce any impacts from outdoor activities should have been required.

60. Archer was prohibited from holding any non-Archer related events at the School -

in particular, weddings, summer school, or non-Archer related speaking events. Although the

conditions the Planning Commission approved allowed for summer school, summer school and

non-Archer related events should not have been allowed. The City should have strictly limited

the time and size of athletic competitions, as contemplated in the 1998 findings of ZA Green.

10

Additional conditions could reduce the number of days that athletic events may occur on

11

campus and the number of days that games can be played on the athletic field.

12

Traffic impacts were inadequately analyzed and mitigated.

13

61. The DEIR does not fully analyze the impacts to traffic from the operations of the

14

proposed Project, nor does it effectively mitigate the impacts that it does identify. The DEIR

15

failed to perform any analysis of potential queuing impacts at intersections that are already,

16

without the operation of the Project, over their maximum capacity. Where intersections are

17

already beyond capacity, cars waiting to traverse the intersection will not clear the intersection

18

on a single light cycle. Since Archer's proposed operations will have a significant impact on

19

several intersections that are already over-capacity, this is a serious deficiency of the DEIWs

20

analysis.

21

62. Key assumptions employed in the analysis of impacts to local streets are faulty.

22

The DEIR assigns zero traffic from School events to local streets such as Westgate and

23

Chaparal. Traffic flow on Sunset Boulevard makes left turns to the east difficult from Archer's

24

non-signalized driveway. Vehicles intending to head east on Sunset Boulevard may exit by

25

turning west (right) on Sunset, turning north on Westgate, and then travelling east on Chaparal

26

to Barrington Avenue, and using the signalized intersection of Barrington Avenue and Sunset

27

Boulevard to head east on Sunset Boulevard. The DEIR understates the impacts to Chaparal,

28

Westgate, and other neighborhood streets from such a traffic pattern.

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

63. The proposed mitigation measures for traffic are not shown to be effective or

enforceable. One measure requires Archer to limit arrivals and departures to 72 vehicles during

the PM peak hour. However, it is infeasible to restrict people who are already at School from

departing. Instead, event attendance should have been limited and the amount of parking

reduced so that additional vehicles are not able to arrive at the facility. The funding for various

improperly deferred traffic studies is unlikely to be sufficient to provide any actual mitigation

for traffic impacts and thus the studies are not effective mitigation measures under CEQA.

8
9

64. As another example, the City required trip caps (maximums) on "guests" arriving
between 3:00 and 4:00 P.M. each School day. Guests beyond that number may not arrive at the

10

School during the restricted hour. But that condition has no realistic possibility of being

11

enforced. If, despite the condition, a greater number of guests arrive and they are turned away,

12

they will likely choose to park in the surrounding residential neighborhood. It is not clear how

13

family and friends of visiting students would even be aware of the restrictions, let alone how

14

any enforcement mechanism could be imposed upon them. But even if unpermitted visitors to

15

Archer leave the area, the purpose of the environmental condition (to limit car trips on

16

overburdened Sunset Boulevard at the height of the afternoon rush hour) will still have been

17

thwarted because these extra guests will have driven to the area during the restricted hours,

18

rendering the mitigation ineffective in achieving its purpose. This condition is just one of many

19

unenforceable conditions, which necessarily provide inadequate environmental mitigation.

20

65. Vehicle trip generation of the Project could be limited by limiting the availability

21

of parking. However, the City allowed possible expansion to 208 spaces with tandem parking

22

or even up to 251 spaces with an attendant

23

66. The DEIR's traffic impacts analysis and mitigation measures do not meet CEQA's

24

requirements. The DEIR fails to study relevant factors, including queuing and back-to-back

25

weekday events, and fails to require enforceable mitigation measures to eliminate the

26

significant impacts of traffic by relying upon the ineffective "departure limitation" rather than

27

an event attendance cap. The traffic impact analysis must be revised and recirculated to the

28

public with adequate analysis and effective mitigation measures incorporated.

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

67. Because the City's traffic impact analysis focuses primarily on the level of service
2

of intersections in the vicinity of the project (which are already beyond the point of failure

during peak traffic hours), and not on the actual flow of traffic, the EIR's cumulative impact

analysis is necessarily incomplete. Notwithstanding the inadequate analysis, the EIR still

admits that impacts to intersections will be cumulatively considerable. See Final EIR at 1-119

("[T]he Project's contribution to impacts that would occur under the future cumulative

conditions would be considerable, and cumulative impacts would be significant at those

intersections impacted by the Project. Although mitigation would [allegedly] reduce several of

the significant impacts to less-than-significant levels, some of the impacts would remain

10

significant and unavoidable.") Despite this admission, a version of the Statement of Overriding

11

Considerations ("SOC") claims that there is no cumulatively considerable traffic-related

12

impact, only "the potential for" several impacts. (SOC, pp. 121-124.) However, the document

13

elsewhere explains that there are cumulatively considerable impacts. (SOC, p.124.) Any

14

additional traffic generated by the project will certainly have a cumulatively considerable

15

environmental impact where the local infrastructure is already overburdened. Furthermore by

16

making inconsistent claims between the EIR and SOC regarding cumulative impacts, one of the

17

fundamental purposes of CEQA- i.e., to allow members of the public and decisionmakers to be

18

fully informed about the project's environmental impacts- is subverted.


The City's noise impacts analysis does not capture the full range of potential
noise impacts and fails to offer any mitigation for the impacts of operational
noise.

19
20
21

68. The DEIR identifies significant and unmitigable impacts from both construction

22

and operational noise from the proposed Project. The DEIR understates the noise impacts from

23

the Project's operation by failing to recognize the significant impact of unwanted sounds

24

introduced into a quiet setting, and by utilizing a threshold of significance that would permit

25

unlimited incremental increases in noise levels.

26

69. The School proposes to substantially increase the number of special events.

27

Regardless of the decibel levels associated with the noise from the increased number of special

28

events, any audible noise from the site under these circumstances should be considered a

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

significant impact. The term "noise" is defined as 'unwanted' or 'undesirable' sound. To the

residents on Chaparal Street, additional audible sound from the Archer campus changes the

quiet, residential enclave into an intensive use zone in which sports noise, talking, vehicles, and

other sounds are pervasive. Regardless of the decibel level, these audible sounds are unwanted,

undesirable noise to these residents and their impact should be assessed based on the marked

increase in exposure time in addition to the other quantified analyses presented in the 2014

Archer Forward DEIR.


70. The DEIR's threshold of significance for noise impacts is improper. Because the

8
9

threshold of significance identifies an impact only after a certain decibel level is generated for a

10

resident off-site to hear, regardless of the baseline noise levels, noise levels in the environment

11

could continually increase as incremental noise generating events that do not cross the threshold

12

occur.

13

71. The extensive changes proposed by Archer lead directly to the noise impacts at the

14

site. Mitigation of the noise impacts is possible by reducing the number of events and

15

construction activity that will cause the noise in the first place.

16
17

72. The DEIR must be revised with a properly conditioned Project that reduces the
noise impacts through a significant reduction in operations and construction.

18

Air Quality impacts were inadequately analyzed and mitigated.

19

73. The construction phase of the Project will have significant localized air quality and

20

health impacts from diesel emissions from demolition, excavation, and construction activities.

21

However the City comes to the opposite conclusion. All feasible mitigation measures must be

22

required for air quality impacts, but they were not.

23

74. The proposed Project is scheduled to be constructed over a period spanning three

24

years, within 10-200 feet of more than 200 residences in multi-family and single family

25

housing, as well as near the students at Archer itself. Both Archer's students and the nearby

26

residents are "sensitive receptors" for purposes of analyzing air quality impacts and this impact

27

cannot be mitigated. The DEIR concedes the Project's construction emissions will exceed air

28

quality standards for NOx emissions. The City's air quality analysis failed to disclose a likely

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PE111 ION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

significant impact from diesel particulate matter emissions. While the CEQA threshold of

significance for an impact from diesel particulate matter emission is an incremental increase in

cancer risk of 10 in 1 million people, the likely incremental increase in cancer risk as a result of

diesel particulate matter emissions is 30.8 in one million for adults. Given the proposal to

conduct construction while students are in school (located in temporary structures on the two

residential lots next to the construction driveways and staging area), the cancer risk for children

is predicted to increase to 53.1 in one million. Archer's DEIR fails to properly calculate the risk

to its own students from exposure to toxic diesel emissions as a result of construction

operations of this magnitude and duration.

10

75. The DEIR contained no mitigation measures for the increased risk of cancer to the

11

nearby residents, or to the children who attend Archer. One condition added to the CUP in late

12

stages of the approval process would require adequate analysis under new OEHHA standards.

13

However, this is deferred mitigation and impermissible under CEQA.

14

76.

Required mitigation measures would include no diesel truck idling, staging, or

15

queuing within 1000 feet of sensitive receptors. However, the DEIR states that such trucks will

16

utilize the driveways on Sunset Boulevard, Chaparal, and Barrington Avenue during various

17

phases of construction, all well within 1000 feet of sensitive receptors like Archer's students

18

and neighboring residents. Trucks will be staged in Archer's front driveway and on the

19

construction site itself. The construction operations do not include a safe and effective

20

mitigation program that avoids exposing Archer's students and the neighboring community to

21

increased cancer risk as a result of the proposed Project's construction and associated toxic

22

diesel emissions.

23

Land use impacts would be significant but are not acknowledged.

24

77. The City improperly concludes that the proposed Project will not have a

25

significant impact on land use. The City reaches this conclusion only by glossing over the fact

26

that the proposed Project will convert established, residential properties to institutional use, in

27

the middle of a low density, single family residential neighborhood. This change is inconsistent

28

with the policies in the applicable land use planning document for the area, the Brentwood-

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

Pacific Palisades Community Plan ("BPPCP"). The inconsistency between the proposed project

and the BPPCP is a significant impact under CEQA, which must be discussed and analyzed in

the DEW. The DEIR explains that under the CEQA Guidelines, a project may have a

significant impact on land use if it "conflict[s] with any applicable land use plan, policy, or

regulation of an agency with jurisdiction over the project . . . adopted for the purpose of

avoiding or mitigating an environmental effect." The City of Los Angeles CEQA Thresholds

Guide elaborates that a proposed project must be evaluated for consistency with land use

policies by comparison to the policies in the relevant Community Plan. The City of Los

Angeles CEQA Thresholds Guide also contains parameters to evaluate land use consistency of

10

a proposal, including the extent of the area that would be impacted, nature and degree of

11

impacts, type of land use, and the number and type of "secondary impacts" to surrounding land

12

uses from the proposed project. The proposed project has significant impacts both under the

13

metric of consistency and compatibility.

14

78. The DEIR purports to analyze the proposed Project's consistency with the BPPCP,

15

but takes a selective approach to the policies it identifies for consistency. The DEIR argues that

16

the proposed project is consistent with the BPPCP because it preserves the historic Main

17

Building, creates a unified campus, and enhances open space by placing parking underground.

18

79. The DEIR's analysis ignores the BPPCP's policies regarding the preservation of

19

residential neighborhoods. Objective 1-1 of the BPPCP is "to provide for the preservation of

20

existing housing and for the development of new housing to meet the diverse economic and

21

physical needs of the existing residents and projected population of the Plan area." Policy 1-

22

1.46 states that "the City should promote neighborhood conservation, particularly in existing

23

single family neighborhoods, as well as in areas with existing multiple-family residences."

24

Objective 1-3 is "to preserve and enhance the varied and distinct residential character and

25

integrity of existing residential neighborhoods." The policies that implement Objective 1-3

26

include "seek a higher degree of architectural compatibility and landscaping for new

27

development to protect the character and scale of existing residential neighborhoods." (Policy

28

1-3.1.) Policy 1-3.3 provides that "factors such as neighborhood character and identity,

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

compatibility of land uses, impacts on livability, impacts on services and public facilities, and

impacts on traffic levels when changes in residential densities are proposed." The DEIR

discusses none of these policies. Yet the proposed Project will replace two long-established

homes, in the middle of a residential neighborhood, with institutional uses. This is directly

contrary to the policies requiring the preservation of residential neighborhoods, and the

protection of residential communities against incompatible non-residential encroachment.

80.

Archer made various requests for deviations from the LAMC which were

improperly granted in the Vesting Conditional Use Modification Conditions under LAMC

Section 12.24.F. These deviations included the following: the North Wing would be permitted

10

to have a height of 41 feet 4 inches, with a roof slope of 25 percent, in lieu of the maximum

11

height limit of 36 feet otherwise permitted by Section 12.21.1 of the LAMC; the Multipurpose

12

Facility would be permitted a height of 36 feet plus 10 feet (for a total of 46 feet), in lieu of the

13

maximum height limit of 30 feet otherwise permitted by Section 12.21.1 of the LAMC;

14

projections and encroachments on the Chaparal Street front yard would be permitted, including

15

two exit stairs from the subterranean parking garage surrounded by concrete site walls, an

16

emergency exit stairway enclosure, an air intake grill for the subterranean parking garage,

17

prefabricated bleachers, an emergency vehicle gate from Chaparal Street, a DWP transformer

18

and emergency generator enclosure, bicycle racks, and an emergency access stairway at the

19

northeast corner of the Project site in lieu of area requirements permitted by Section 12.10.0

20

and 12.21.3b of the LAMC; projections and encroachments on the Chaparal Street west side

21

yard would be permitted, including one electronic scoreboard, a soccer goal, and protective

22

sports netting, in lieu of area requirements permitted by Section 12.10.0 and 12.21.3b of the

23

LAMC; and projections and encroachments on the Chaparal Street rear yard would be

24

permitted to include an opening to the subterranean parking garage and an emergency access

25

stair from the subterranean parking garage in lieu of area requirements permitted by Section

26

12.10.0 and 12.21.3b of the LAMC.

27

81. Past approvals involving the Archer School and its predecessor on the site, the

28

Eastern Star Home, confirm that the City has viewed the encroachment of institutional uses

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

along Chaparal to be inconsistent with the residential character of that street. As disclosed in

the 1997 Archer School DEIR, the original approval to construct the Eastern Star Home

required a 224-foot setback from Chaparal. In 1950, when the Eastern Star Home sought to

construct a structure within 80 feet of Chaparal, the request was denied. In 1998, when Archer

sought approval to construct a 12,000 square foot gymnasium (smaller than the presently

requested 39,330 square foot "multipurpose" facility which can be used as two gymnasiums and

seat a total of 830), the Zoning Administrator required a 75-foot setback from Chaparal and

prohibited doors and windows opening to the north, east, and west to protect residences from

the noise emanating from the gym. The City's past treatment of Archer's property confirms that

10

institutional land uses should not be placed directly adjacent to residences, encroach into the

11

residential front, side and back yards, and certainly should not replace existing residences.

12

82. Just as the proposed Project is not consistent with the BPPCP, it is likewise not a

13

compatible land use for the residential neighborhood. The DEIR relies upon the fact that the

14

Archer School is already in operation to conclude that further school use is compatible with the

15

other land use in the area. However, decreasing the proportion of properties on Chaparal that

16

will be used for residential purposes, and increasing the number of institutional uses along

17

Chaparal (both by removing residences and by eliminating what is presently open space), are

18

fundamental modifications to the existing land use in the area. While the underlying zoning

19

may permit school use pursuant to a conditional use permit, the fact that such use is only

20

permissible by special permit reinforces the notion that school/institutional use is not inherently

21

compatible with residential use. School construction and operation on residentially-zoned

22

property must be evaluated to ensure that the operation is compatible and appropriate for the

23

proposed location. In this case, the residences are too close to the new school uses proposed

24

and the secondary impacts (such as noise, light pollution, and increased traffic) on the

25

residences are far too significant to deem the change in use from residential to school

26

"compatible" with the surrounding neighborhood.

27

Alternatives Are Inadequately Analyzed.

28

83. An analysis of alternatives to a proposed project is a critical component of an EIR.

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

The alternatives analysis is particularly important where it may demonstrate that a feasible

alternative has fewer impacts than a proposed project. Where there is a better alternative

environmentally, the project proponent must present evidence that costs and profits lost are so

severe as to make the project impractical. The alternatives analysis serves an important purpose

in providing the reviewing agency adequate information about feasible means to avoid impacts

and gives the public a clear window into governmental decisionmaking about environmental

impacts.

8
9
10

84. The City improperly failed to consider feasible alternatives, including offsite
alternatives. The City completely ignored Alternative 2, which the affected community
overwhelmingly supported.

11

85. The DEIR includes an extensive list of project objectives that is overly detailed

12

and impermissibly constrains the analysis of alternatives. Archer can reasonably achieve its

13

"basic objectives" without triggering many of the impacts identified in the DEIR. The facilities

14

and programs that Archer would be able to offer under a reduced development design such as

15

Alternative 2 would be comparable to the programs offered by other Los Angeles-area private

16

middle and high schools, and such facilities would be more appropriate given the School's

17

setting on a relatively small lot in a residential neighborhood. Because Archer can achieve its

18

"basic objectives" without the environmental impacts associated with its over-large, proposed

19

project, CEQA requires that the City reject the proposal in favor of an alternative that avoids

20

and/or reduces the environmental impacts. Many of the impacts of the Project could be avoided

21

by placing some or all of the proposed new uses such as athletic facilities and the performing

22

arts center in alternative locations off campus while still accomplishing all or substantially all of

23

Archer School's true objectives.

24

86. Other schools, including the nearby Brentwood School, have either relocated to

25

nonresidential venues or have acquired second properties so that the grades could be split

26

without congesting the original property as to facilities or intensity of usage.

27
28

87. For Alternative 2, the "reasonably foreseeable" development alternative, the


analysis of traffic impacts concludes that the alternative will have no traffic impacts, relying

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

upon the analysis in the 1998 Archer EIR. None of the analysis is replicated in the DEIR or

made readily available for the public reading the DEIR to consult. Moreover, the 1998 DEIR

appears not to have analyzed traffic impacts during the PM peak hour as the School was not

anticipated to generate significant traffic at that time. However, the 2014 DEIR analyzes the

PM peak hour and identifies significant, immitigable impacts from departures of events with

300 attendees (or larger). The analysis of the other alternatives is likewise scant and

insufficient for a true comparison of impacts.

8
9

88. The DEIR states that an alternative site was "considered and rejected," meaning
that the DEIR presents no analysis of the potential impacts of a new location for the entire

10

School, for a portion of the School, or for any of Archer School's central objectives. The DEIR

11

rejects alternatives sites on the theories that Archer owns the Project site, does not own a

12

comparable site, could not obtain a comparably sized property, and could not feasibly divide or

13

transfer the operation of the School to another location. The DEIR asserts without any support

14

that an alternative site would have the same impacts as development on the current site.

15

89. The DEIR errs by not discussing any alternative sites in detail. An alternative need

16

be only potentially feasible in order to be evaluated in-depth in an EIR. The fact that the project

17

proponent does not own an alternative site is not dispositive as to the feasibility of the

18

alternative.

19

90. Alternative sites exist that could accommodate Archer. The DEIR contains only

20

bare assertions in support of the conclusion that an alternative site could not feasibly be

21

acquired or utilized by Archer, either for all or part of its operations. This analysis is

22

insufficient. By failing to identify any potential sites, or evidencing any research on the

23

prospects for such a site (including the basic size and locational requirements, which would be

24

necessary to specify in order for the public and decisionmakers to evaluate the claim that no

25

alternative site would be feasibly acquired by the School), the DEIR fails to provide sufficient

26

information to show that this alternative is genuinely infeasible.

27
28

91. For instance, Archer would not necessarily have to acquire a site as large as its
present site. Archer serves both middle and upper school girls. Separate school sites are

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

normally provided for middle school and high school students. The DEIR does not present any

factual support for the assertion that Archer would have to move its entire operation to a new

site, rather than shifting either the upper or middle school portion of the School. Indeed, such a

division could very well reduce the impacts of the proposed project, as neither site would need

to be as intensively used as Archer proposes for the current site. The DEIR is inadequate

because it fails to support its assertion that alternative sites are infeasible, and does not provide

any analysis of the potential use of alternative sites for all or a portion of the objectives

discussed in the proposal. Archer currently uses alternate locations for its athletics and special

events so it is feasible to use alternate locations like many other schools.

10

92.

There are readily available alternatives to the proposed Project that would satisfy

11

the "basic objectives" of the Project. Of the five alternatives analyzed in the DEIR, the DEIR

12

concludes that Alternative 5, the reduced excavation scenario, is the "environmentally superior"

13

alternative. The City should have defined the objectives for the Project rather than merely

14

using the statement of objectives by the Project proponent. Finally, Alternative 2, future

15

development in accordance with the current approvals for the site would eliminate the impacts

16

associated with construction and traffic. The only remaining significant and unavoidable

17

impacts would be those associated with noise during construction, and that would be minimal

18

since the construction period for Alternative 2 is estimated to require just 16 or 18 months.

19

93.

Of all five alternatives studied in the DEIR, only one, Alternative 3 has impacts

20

that are for the most part identical to the proposed Project, with noise impacts that are slightly

21

different from the proposed Project and all other impacts being identical. Alternative 3 is the

22

only alternative presented with a full photographic analysis of the proposed Project, showing

23

that it, like the proposed Project, will replace the residences along Chaparal with institutional

24

structures that are not consistent with the area's residential structures. Alternative 3 simply

25

moves structures around on the site and does nothing to lessen the significant impacts of the

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proposed Project. Yet, tellingly, Alternative 3 is the only alternative that the DEIR does not

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reject out-of-hand for failing to meet Archer's lengthy "wish list" of project objectives.

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94.

The DEIR reflects the manner in which the environmental review process has been

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co-opted by Archer's overly specific identification of project objectives. CEQA requires that

the EIR identify and evaluate alternatives that would feasibly attain most of the basic objectives

of the project. There is no requirement in CEQA that the alternatives be compared against

every item included by the applicant on the project objectives list; to the contrary, the

Guidelines are clear that the alternatives should be measured against the "basic objectives" of

the project. While in some cases, "basic objectives" and "project objectives" may be identical,

here, the overly prescriptive dream-list of project objectives cannot serve as the basis for

comparing alternatives to the Project. As a practical matter, evaluating each alternative against

the 33-item project objectives list creates an environmental document that is extremely difficult

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for the reader to use to compare the various alternatives. This defeats the disclosure objectives

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of CEQA.

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The Compression of the Construction Schedule Required Recirculation of the MR.

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95. With the change and compression of the construction schedule from six years (72

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months) to three years (36 months), the analysis in the EIR should have been revised because

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some impacts will be more intense during that time. Specifically, construction traffic will have

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to increase in frequency, which will impact both traffic conditions and air quality. Archer did

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not shorten the construction schedule by eliminating some activities but rather compressed

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almost all of the activities it originally proposed into a much shorter timeframe. The

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construction period should have been reduced by eliminating tasks, such as eliminating

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construction of the Performing Arts Center, not by intensifying the construction of the Project

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as proposed. Compressing the schedule would create significant impacts of its own. Therefore,

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those impacts must be analyzed.

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96. An EIR must be revised and recirculated when significant new information

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becomes available. (CEQA Guidelines 15088.5.) Furthermore, recirculation is required

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when "[a] new significant environmental impact would result from the project or from a new

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mitigation measure proposed to be implemented" or "[a] substantial increase in the severity of

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an environmental impact would result unless mitigation measures are adopted that reduce the

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impact to a level of insignificance." (Ibid.) Here, the very substantial change in the

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construction schedule, which intensifies the air quality and construction impacts of the Project,

is significant new information which requires recirculation of the EIR. The City apparently

posted an errata to the EIR on August 3, 2015, which was the day before the City Council

hearing approving the project on August 4, 2015. This errata, labeled Errata 6, disclosed more

severe impacts than had been disclosed before but no public notice was provided of its posting.

97. The late release of the information in Errata 6 violated Petitioners' and the public's

due process rights. The approval from the Planning Commission was not based on the

information in Errata 6. The public had no reasonable opportunity to read or respond to the late

errata by review and comment, nor to obtain independent expert analysis of it. The Errata

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acknowledged errors in the calculations in the DER that show an increase in health risk, but

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then concluded that revised calculations were accurate and below significant levels without any

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ability for the public and decision-makers to review and comment because of the late

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submission.

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Traffic Conditions Under the More Intense Schedule Will be Worsened.

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98. A shorter construction period would intensify the adverse impacts that have been

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identified for construction traffic. A "queueing" problem will exist during the operations period

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(i.e., after construction is complete) on North Barrington Avenue where it reaches Sunset

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Boulevard. Traffic surges will also occur clockwise as traffic spills onto Westgate Avenue (and

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possibly Saltair), then onto Chaparal after special events on the Archer site and during weekday

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afternoon and evening periods of high congestion on Sunset -- adding to the already extensive

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"cut-through" traffic present on those small streets each weekday evening.

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99. Nearly all of the construction traffic is planned to depart the Archer site via the

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proposed construction driveways that exit onto Chaparal and N. Barrington Avenue, thus

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necessarily adding to any queue where North Barrington Avenue reaches Sunset Boulevard.

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Many, if not all, people desiring to travel east on Sunset Boulevard would attempt to turn left

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into whatever spaces are available at the rear of the Barrington Place cohort. This added

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"demand" from North Barrington Avenue will in turn limit the spaces available to eastbound

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through traffic on Sunset thereby extending queueing times for all vehicles for many blocks to

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the west. The same queueing issue at that intersection will occur during the operations period

after any special event that ends during heavy traffic hours, since none of the vehicles leaving

the Archer site via its only (non-signalized) driveway, onto Sunset Boulevard, will be able to

turn left successfully. Many Archer visitors will have destinations that require them to end up

eastbound on Sunset Boulevard -- or to divert to less direct routes which will congest additional

street stretches and intersections.

100. The study that Archer's expert submitted superficially analyzed one stretch of

Chaparal, and the segment of North Barrington Avenue between Chaparal and Sunset

Boulevard. The surges mentioned above will result in a temporary tripling or more of

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clockwise traffic on Westgate and Barrington, which simply do not have the capacity to

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accommodate this traffic without significant adverse impacts. Therefore, the level of

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significance for traffic impacts on the segments and at the intersections of these streets will be

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greatly exceeded.

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101. Every feasible measure should have been taken to identify and avoid air quality

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impacts, including impacts from toxic contaminants. The Draft EIR purported to analyze an

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acceleration of the construction schedule that would occur over a five-year period instead of a

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six-year period. However, the EIR did not analyze a compression into a three-year schedule as

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is currently proposed for the Project.

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102. Errata 2, dated April 2015, claimed construction impacts would be "experienced

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on more days of construction" but not change overall impacts. These assertions defy common

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sense, and fail to address critical impacts in peak hours. When construction is compressed,

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activities will overlap that would not have overlapped before (compare EIR Appendix C-1 to

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Errata 6), thus creating cumulatively greater impacts within peak hours, even if the project

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proponent is somehow able to average out the impacts throughout the day.

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103. As approved by the City Planning Commission under CPC-2014-666-VCU-ZA-

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SPR, the proposed Archer School facilities would be developed over three years. The Draft

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Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) contemplated a six-year construction schedule for the

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Archer School project but indicated that "while not proposed by Archer, the Project's

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construction schedule could be accelerated so that all phases of the Project are constructed

concurrently and completed within a shorter time period." However, no specifics as to the

accelerated schedule were provided for timely public review nor was the "shorter time period"

defined. With the approval of the current Project, the overlap of individual construction phases

was increased with the compression of the schedule to three years.

104. The DEIR presents air emissions generated by each phase of the Project as well as

the total estimated emissions for the North Wing Renovation combined with Phase 1

Excavation and Grading (EIR Table IV.B-4, Table IV.B-5, Table IV.B-14). Impacts of an

(unidentified) accelerated schedule are discussed (p. IV.B-43), but no analysis is presented.

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Emissions for the combined North Wing and Phase 1- Excavation and Grading are shown to be

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over ninety percent of the Localized Significance Threshold for nitrous oxides (NOx) just for

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the North Wing Renovation and Phase 1Excavation and Grading (Table IV.B-5). The NOx

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Threshold is shown to be 89 pounds per day, with the North Wing and Phase 1Excavation

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and Grading generating 81 pounds per day when combined. The addition of 75 pounds of NOx

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per day generated by Ph. se I Construction, and the 42 pounds of NOx per day generated by

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Phase 2Excavation and Grading, and the 47 pounds of NOx per day for Phase 2 Construction

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would push overall NOx emissions over the threshold. Not only would these air quality

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emissions potentially affect nearby residents, they could affect Archer students who will attend

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school in temporary trailers next to the construction driveways and staging area.

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105. Additionally, the air quality guidance under which the EIR was prepared was

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outdated at the time the EIR was certified. In February 2015, California's Office of

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Environmental Health Hazard Assessment released its final "Air Toxics Hot Spots Program

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Guidance manual for the Preparation of Risk Assessments (Guidance Manual)." This new

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Guidance Manual is different from previous guidance because it includes the use of age-

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sensitivity factors for estimating cancer risk and changes to the duration of exposure for

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residents and workers. Therefore, the new assessment methods would demonstrate a

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substantially higher health risk for residential and other sensitive receptors such as

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schoolchildren near emission sources than the previous guidance would have indicated.

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106. Noise impacts will be worse under an intensified three-year schedule. The DEIR

presented noise levels under an accelerated construction schedule (Table IV.I-30), but did not

identify what assumptions were made regarding use of equipment on the site. The EIR should

have identified how any increase in noise would affect nearby residents as well as Archer

students.

107. Students in portable classrooms would be located in closer proximity to intensified

construction activities under the three-year construction scenario. These students would thus be

highly exposed to the intense noise impacts and toxic diesel emissions of the construction

equipment operation.

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108. The traffic section of the DEIR similarly discusses a so-called accelerated schedule

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without ever defining what that is. The text of the traffic report (Appendix P. p.110-114)

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discusses the accelerated schedule, assuming that the peak day would not change, similar to the

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discussions of air emissions and noise. Traffic generation tables in Appendix H to DEIR

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Appendix P show trip generation only for each phase of construction and indicate only minor

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overlaps in the six-year schedule shown and analyzed. Nothing is shown for all phases

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generating traffic simultaneously as the Project was approved.


The Findings and Statement of Overriding Considerations Are Unsupported by
Substantial Evidence.

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109. CEQA permits a project with significant adverse environmental impacts to be


approved if the lead agency makes findings, supported by substantial evidence, that the
project's benefits will outweigh its adverse impacts and that there are not feasible mitigation
measures or less damaging alternatives available.
110. As discussed above, the findings that there are no feasible less environmentally
damaging alternatives to the Project and that all feasible mitigation measures were required for
the Project are not supported by substantial evidence. Thus, the Statement of Overriding
Considerations lacks substantial evidence, in violation of CEQA.

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SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION


(VIOLATIONS OF CITY OF LOS ANGELES MUNICIPAL CODE)
111. Petitioners incorporate all previous paragraphs as if fully set forth.

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112. The City violated its Municipal Code by approving a project that did not comply
with residential floor area ratio limits.
113. Under the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC), Archer's proposal must conform
to residential maximum floor area ratio requirements. It is indisputable that the plans call for th,
construction of institutional structures with a floor area far exceeding that which is permitted on
a by-right basis within the residential zone. Nonetheless, Archer contends, and the EIR
assumes, that Archer is entitled to build to the fullest extent allowable for commercial or
institutional structures within zones where they are permitted by right.
114. The Municipal Code limits the floor area in buildings on RE zoned properties to 35
percent of the lot size. (LAMC 12.07.01.C). "Residential Floor Area" is defined as "the area
in square feet confined within the exterior walls of a Building or Accessory Building on a Lot in
an RA, RE, RS, or R1 Zone." (LAMC 12.03.) The term "Building" is further defined as "any
structure" for "enclosure" of "persons." (Ibid.)

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115. Buildings in RE zones are expressly exempted from the allowance for 3:1 FAR in
some other types of areas. (LAMC 12.21.1.A.1.) Therefore, buildings must adhere to the
FAR set for residential zones, as required by the Los Angeles Municipal Code. However,
Archer's proposed buildings did not adhere to the floor area ratio requirements. For example,
the Performing Arts Center proposed at 19,105 square feet on a 22,492.5 square foot RE-11
zoned lot would result in a floor area ratio of 85 percent, far exceeding the allowed 35 percent.
Even as revised to 17,758 square feet by the City Council's Planning and Land Use
Management Committee, the floor area ratio would be 79 percent, still far in excess of the
allowable 35 percent.
116. The applicant and the City failed to identify the floor area and density proposed for
each parcel, and the conditions of approval do not call for any covenant requiring a unified
development. The Municipal Code limits floor area ratio averaging to the C Zone, M Zone and
portions of the R5 Zone. Floor area ratio averaging is not permitted in the RE-11 zone.
117. The CUP and EIR analysis of the Project's "floor area ratio" impacts are based on
the erroneous proposition that Archer, despite its merely conditional right to operate as a school

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within a residential zone, has a right to develop institutional/commercial structures on its

property to the full extent authorized in zones where institutional/commercial uses are

authorized on a by-right basis.

118. The processing for the Archer Project missed a critical step: application for a parcel

map. The EIR and staff report attempt to establish a floor area ratio for combined lot area of all

RE-11-1 lots without actually combining the lots. Instead, floor area ratios are averaged even

though floor area ratio averaging is permitted only in C, M, and certain R5 Zones. The Project

then proposes to reserve a 15,574-square-foot area for future residential use without actually

creating a separate lot for that residential use at this time, though it "may be considered later".
Los Angeles Municipal Code Multiple Approval Review Requirements Were
Violated.

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119. The City violated its Municipal Code requirements for reviewing multiple

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approvals concurrently. Section 12.36.B of the Municipal Code provides that "[a]pplicants shall

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file applications at the same time for all approvals reasonably related to complete the project."

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The ordinance assures (among other things) that municipal decision-makers consider the

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impacts of all related discretionary-approval applications and craft conditions necessary to

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eliminate or reduce the environmental impacts. CEQA also requires coordination of

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environmental review sufficient to assure that all potentially significant impacts of the related

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requests for approval are considered together. CEQA requires that the lead agency fully analyze

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all related discretionary approval applications in a single environmental document. By

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prohibiting the "piecemealing" or "segmenting" of projects, CEQA ensures that environmental

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considerations do not become submerged by chopping a large project into little ones, each with

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potential impact on the environment, which cumulatively may have disastrous consequences.

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120. Archer was required to apply for parcel map and lot line-adjustment approvals that

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were not coordinated with review of the expansion project and will thereby proceed through the
municipal approval and environmental review processes separate from the expansion project in

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violation of both the City's Multiple Approvals Ordinance and CEQA's anti-piecemealing
requirement.

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121. Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering Cadastral Maps show each of the eight parcels
of the project site as separate, legally subdivided lots. Assessor's parcel maps show the four lots
originally utilized by the Eastern Star Home with a single parcel number, 4402-009-016, with
fish hooks connecting the four subdivided lots making up parcel 16.
122. The April 23, 2015 staff report for CPC-2014-666-VCU-ZA-SPR (p.2) indicates
that a "possible ministerial lot line adjustment may be considered later ... to combine the
Chaparal parcel and the Campus Portion of the Barrington Parcel." This is problematic for a

number of reasons. According to the April 23,2015 staff report 10,473 square feet would be
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added to 11728 West Chaparal, leaving a 15,574-square-foot parcel at 141 N. Barrington which
would "be maintained for residential use." The floor area ratio for 11728 W. Chaparal would
then exceed 35 percent, based on 10,473 square feet added to the existing 22,492-square-foot lot
which would be developed with a 17,758-square-foot Performing Arts Center and 7,400-squarefoot Visual Arts Center. Both the floor area ratio for the 11728 West Chaparal parcel and for the
remaining RE-11-1 sites combined would exceed the allowable floor area ratio of 35 percent.
123. In accordance with Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 17.50.B.3, a lot line

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adjustment may be processed instead of a parcel map under the following conditions: (1) A lot

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line adjustment is made between four or fewer existing adjoining lots or parcels and the land

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taken from one lot or parcel is added to an adjoining lot or parcel; (2) The resulting number of

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lots or parcels remains the same or is decreased; (3) The parcels or lots resulting from the lot

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line adjustment will conform to the local general plan, any applicable coastal plan, and zoning

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and building ordinances.

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124. A lot line adjustment could not be processed in this case because the resulting floor
area ratios would not conform to the requirements of the zoning ordinance.
125. Conditions of approval for CPC-2014-666-VCU-ZA-SPR do not require that any

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sort of covenant be recorded in order to ensure that the site be held as one. Thus, the Performing

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Arts Center could be sold separately. The fields and parking area could be sold and developed

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with additional uses, further increasing development intensity.

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Findings for Variances or Adjustments Were Not Supported.


126. The findings required by the LAMC for granting a CUP were not supported by

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substantial evidence. A CUP cannot be issued absent substantial evidence that "the project's
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location, size, height, operations and other significant features will be compatible with and will

not adversely affect or further degrade adjacent properties, the surrounding neighborhood, or the

public health, welfare, and safety." Archer now seeks authority for massive expansions,

including taller buildings than allowed by code, more floor area than permitted by code, a

dramatic expansion of campus operations, encroachments into the residential front, side and

back yards, and residential (RE-11) lots that will be swallowed and incorporated into Archer's

institutional complex in direct conflict with the LAMC and the specific findings of the 1998

approval. The mandated findings cannot therefore be made.

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127. A CUP cannot be issued absent substantial evidence that the project substantially

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conforms to the purpose, intent and provisions of the General Plan, the applicable community

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plan, and any applicable specific plan.

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128. Instead of seeking a variance from LAMC requirements for height, setback, and

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floor are ratio violations, Archer sought and received administrative adjustments to these

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requirements. These administrative adjustments were improperly granted because they did not,

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and could not, meet the requirements for granting a variance under the LAMC. These

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requirements for a variance under the LAMC include findings that special circumstances require

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relief from the applicable requirements of the LAMC.

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129. A finding that strict application of the LAMC would result in practical difficulties

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or unnecessary hardships is not possible because there are no potential hardships that would be

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caused by denial of the application. A finding that there are exceptional circumstances or

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conditions applicable to the subject property involved that do not apply generally to other

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properties in the area cannot be made because property in the area is residential and used for

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residential purposes.

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130. The Project was extensively opposed by local community organizations and

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residents because it would be detrimental to public welfare in that it will create significant

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noise, air quality, traffic, and other impacts. The Project impermissibly grants Archer School

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special privileges including greater than permitted floor area for the residential lots.

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131. The Project will not enhance the built environment in the surrounding

neighborhood. To the contrary, the Project seeks to destroy the built environment in the

surrounding neighborhood by tearing down two residences and constructing a non-residential,

17,758 square foot building on a 22,000 square foot low density residentially zoned lot on the

Chaparal parcel (zoned RE-11) and leaving the other residential lot on Barrington vacant,

thereby creating a large scale institutional block of buildings on a street with only 21 homes and

little or no sidewalks.

132. The Project does not perform a function or provide a service that is essential or

beneficial to the community, city or region because if the Project is not built, the School would

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continue to operate as a school. The benefit to the community is not the buildings or size of the

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campus, it is the School's academic program and extracurricular activities. This benefit exists

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now and would continue without the new buildings. In fact, the School has operated

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successfully for 15 years and provided all of the programs essential to a school. While the

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School currently conducts some of its extracurricular activities off campus, it is because it chose

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not to build the gym permitted under its 1998 CUP. Almost all private schools in the City

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conduct activities both on and off campus.

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133. The Project is not necessary to allow Archer to continue providing the essential and

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beneficial service of an all-girls education in West Los Angeles. Archer errs when it states the

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proposed project will provide a service to the community, the City and the region as a whole.

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The academic, artistic and athletic programs provided to its students will not change. Archer will

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continue to offer these programs to its students whether or not the Project is built.

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134. With over two-thirds of the students and their families living north, south or east of

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the campus, the intersection at Barrington and Sunset will be significantly impacted. Archer

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proposes increasing the number of events on campus that will bring tens of thousands of visitors

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during the course of the 36-week school year for athletic and special events and six additional

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weeks of summer school. Families of students will arrive from the north, south or east and use

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Sunset Boulevard as well as Barrington to access the campus. LADOT has rated this intersection

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an F or failed intersection. More cars traversing through a Level of Service F intersection will

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add to an already congested and gridlocked area. Not only will people in Brentwood be

adversely impacted, but also people in Pacific Palisades since the only two ways from the 1-405

freeway and other points east of it into Pacific Palisades are Pacific Coast Highway and Sunset

Boulevard.

135. In the 2001 Plan Approval, ZA Dan Green stated that the success of the School is

grounded in its ability to operate in a compatible manner with its surrounding residential uses.

The proposed Project is not compatible with the surrounding residential area. The proposed

Project does not provide appropriately sized buildings for the neighborhood. Archer can

optimize its academic, fine arts, performing arts and athletic programs under the 1998 CUP. The

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1998 CUP allows for a 12,000 square foot gym that if built, would have provided Archer with

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indoor facilities for basketball and volleyball, locker rooms, and a space to accommodate all of

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its student body. There is no restriction in the 1998 CUP regarding the renovation of the North

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Wing to modernize its classrooms. In fact, Archer could have modernized its North Wing at any

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point in the last 15 years and built a gym with a stage to satisfy its needs. This Project is not

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necessary to achieve this objective.

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136. Archer proposes tearing down the house on the Chaparal parcel that is not part of

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the 1998 CUP and replacing the existing single family home of just 4,000 square feet with a

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17,758 square foot performing arts center on this 22,000 square foot residential lot. This

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building will be just 15 feet from the neighboring house on the east and 25 feet from the

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Chaparal property line to the north. In addition, Archer proposes building two gyms in a 39,330

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square foot building that would be placed just 25 feet from the Chaparal property line and

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accommodate numerous spectators on lots that, again, are zoned for low- density residential use.

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These buildings are not in scale with the existing residences on Chaparal and will alter the

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character of the neighborhood.

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137. Archer's desire to have a space where the entire School can meet and host athletic

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events was carefully considered in 1998 when ZA Dan Green found that the appropriate size an

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use of the School were met with a physical footprint that did not include the Chaparal and

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Barrington Parcels, but included one gym, a Main Building, and 109 parking spaces as well as

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restrictions on use that took into account the School's ability to operate while protecting the

neighbors from adverse traffic and noise impacts. Archer's assumption that it needs two gyms

to accommodate athletic games and practices is not accurate and is not consistent with other

private schools' practice. The following schools have one gym on campus and field the same

number, if not more, teams: Marlborough School, Crossroads School, Marymount, and

Windward School.

138. Games and practices do not have to be scheduled simultaneously, but can be

staggered or occur off-site. It is not uncommon for schools to use nearby parks for practice or

games, for example Windward's use of Mar Vista Park for soccer games. In addition,

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Marlborough School conducts soccer practices on campus on a field smaller than Archer's

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current athletic field and utilizes Occidental College's soccer field as its home field. Crossroads

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School's soccer field is smaller than Archer's current athletic field, yet Crossroads hosts soccer

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tournaments on this field as well as league games. In addition, Crossroads does not have a

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Performing Arts Center that seats 395 guests, but rather has a small black box theater. These

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schools, like Archer, continue to offer programs that require on campus and off campus activity.
139. Archer asserted that it would continue to implement its Traffic Management

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Program that encourages the reduction of vehicle trips. Yet features of this program do not
reduce vehicle trips. For example, as part of this program Archer would require at least 20
percent of employees to arrive outside of the morning peak hour. Yet Archer fails to say that
it would increase the faculty and staff from 95 to 132 to accommodate the up to 518 students
on campus. Increasing the number of teachers and then asking them to arrive at different
hours does not reduce the number of vehicle trips; it merely changes the arrival time for the
faculty and staff and likely extends the hours of congestion on Sunset and local streets.
140. Archer asserted that the Project would increase the percentage of students who
are required to use the fixed-route, daily bus service from 50% to 76%. However, Archer
failed to reveal that its operations already exceeded this percentage. Requiring that 76% of
students take the bus merely reflects what currently occurs and does not mitigate something
that does not occurnamely 50% of the students getting to the School by bus. Therefore,
current vehicle trips are not reduced by this program.

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141. Archer's Event Management Program will not minimize Archer's effect on
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traffic in the adjacent community. As a traffic expert noted, the mitigation measures Archer
proposes do not address the resulting significant traffic impacts that the Project will create.
Limitations on arrivals and on departures at the Archer Campus parking structure will not
reduce trips that occur as guests will park elsewhere after being turned away at the parking
structure, then depart without being accommodated and nevertheless increase traffic on local
streets. Archer confuses the capacity of and hourly limitations at the parking structure with
the trips that will be generated by the special events. Limiting arrivals of guests does not and

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will not limit departures, which can include student carpool vehicles, staff vehicles and
buses. While theoretically Archer proposes a number of arrivals and departures that they
claim will eliminate significant traffic impacts during the afternoon peak hour, the proposed
mitigation measures are not feasible or practical, and they will not produce the arrival and
departure limitations that are required to eliminate significant traffic impacts. Archer's Event
Management and Traffic Program will not minimize the traffic impacts. The only way to

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minimize the number of cars is to limit the number of events, as was done in the 1998 CUP

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and thereby reduce the number of visitors.

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142. Since Archer began operating, a major complaint has been noise. With the two

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gyms and a performing arts center now located on the Chaparal lots, Archer is developing its

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campus so that most of the access and circulation will require outdoor activity as hundreds of

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people move between buildings, congregate in large open spaces such as the North Garden,

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and enter and exit the parking garage through an outdoor courtyard just feet away from the

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Chaparal property line. All after-school activity and most weekend activity will now take

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place in these two institutional buildings situated in what is a low-density residentially zoned area

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where currently no activity takes place after 7pm or on the weekends.

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143.

Archer's attempt to mitigate the noise from this increased use is to require

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visitors to access the garage after 7pm through an underground passageway that is accessible

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with one elevator in only two of the four buildings. There is no way Archer can forcibly

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make people use the elevator and it is unlikely that hundreds of people are going to enter a

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

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building after being outdoors, line up for a single elevator, and then walk underground to get
to the parking garage.
This 85,500 square foot underground parking garage with 164 parking spaces, expandable to
251 with attendant parking, will result in significant traffic impacts on the neighborhood.
Currently the School has 109 parking spaces on campus. Of the 65 or more special events, only
25 can utilize all 109 spaces. The remaining events park only 65 cars on campus. Parking for
large events occurs offsite in lots near the School that are accessible by streets other than Sunset
Boulevard.
144. Increasing on campus capacity for vehicle parking results in a significant traffic
impact. Each day 164 cars will park on campus for the School's daily operationsfaculty, staff,
student carpools, and visitors such as parents or trustees. At 3pm, when the 164 cars parked on
campus begin to leave, more cars will be arriving for the after school athletic events. And later,
more cars will be arriving for the special events that start at 6pm or 7pm. The large parking
garage will be used all day from 7am to 10pm. This is not without consequences. By increasing
the number of cars that can park on campus from 109 to 251, Archer will be adding hundreds of
new car trips to and from the campus garage that is only accessible via Sunset Boulevard at a
non-signalized driveway.
145. In summary, the Project does not respect the scale and character of the
surrounding neighborhood and will not reduce the effects of the School but rather will increase

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the adverse impacts to the neighborhood. Expanding the campus into the low-density residential

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zone and increasing the operational uses of the School, significant and unavoidable noise and

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traffic impacts will occur. Accordingly, the Project will not enhance the surrounding

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neighborhood. Based on the reasons outlined above, the Project would degrade the

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neighborhood and is not needed for the School to provide the service it currently provides to the

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community. Therefore the findings required to approve the Project cannot be made.

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PRAYER FOR RELIEF


In each of the respects enumerated above, Respondent has violated its duties under law,
abused its discretion, failed to proceed in the manner required by law, and decided the matters

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

complained of without the support of substantial evidence. Accordingly, the certification of the

EIR and the approval of the Project must be set aside.

WHEREFORE, Petitioners pray for relief as follows:

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A.

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To set aside and vacate its certification of the EIR, Findings of Fact, and

Statement of Overriding Considerations supporting the approval of the Project; and


B.

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For an alternative and peremptory writ of mandate, commanding Respondent:

To set aside and vacate any approvals for the Project based upon the EIR,

Findings of Fact, and Statement of Overriding Considerations supporting the Project; and
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For an order enjoining Respondent and Real Parties in Interest from taking any

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action to construct any portion of the Project or to develop or alter the Project site in any way

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that could result in a significant adverse impact on the environment unless and until a lawful

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approval is obtained from Respondent after the preparation and consideration of an adequate

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EIR. The EIR would include, without limitation, updates of EIR Appendices C-1 and C-2 that

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would allow the public to analyze the impacts of the proposed construction activities on air

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quality, public health, and traffic. This analysis would include the increase in air pollution

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surrounding the already heavily polluted intersection of Sunset and Barrington due to extending

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the periods of queuing on both streets. The City must adopt all feasible alternatives and

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mitigation measures.

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3.

For costs of the suit;

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For reasonable attorneys' fees; and

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For such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.

DATE: September 9, 2015

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Respectfully Submitted,
CHATTEN-BROWN & CARSTENS LLP

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By:

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Douglas P. Carstens
Michelle Black
Attorneys for Petitioners

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

I, the undersigned, declare that 1 am an officer of Sunset Coalition, a Petitioner in this


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action. I have read the foregoing Petition For Writ Of Mandate and know the contents thereof,
and the same is true of my own knowledge.

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I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed this

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th

day of September 2015, in Los Angeles, California.

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

EXHIBIT A

Telephone: (310) 798-2400


Facsimile: (310) 798-2402

CHATTEN-BROWN & CARSTENS LLP


2200 Pacific Coast Highway, Ste. 318
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
www.cbcearthlaw.com

E-MAIL:
mnb@cbcearthlaw.com

September 8, 2015
By U.S. Mail
California Attorney General
300 South Spring Street, Ste. 1700
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Re:

Challenge to City of Los Angeles' Certification of an EIR, Adoption of a


Statement of Overriding Considerations and Approval of a CUP for the
Archer Forward Project at the Archer School for Girls, Sunset Coalition v.
City of Los Angeles

Honorable Attorney General:


Please find enclosed a copy of the Petition for Writ of Mandate filed to challenge the City
of Los Angeles' certification of an environmental impact report and approval of the Archer
Forward Project proposed by the Archer School for Girls. This massive expansion project would
involve the construction of over 230,000 square feet, including a new underground parking
structure, two-story Multi-Purpose Facility with two gyms, Performing Arts Center, Visual Arts
Center, sunken garden and major remodel of the existing buildings.
As approved, the Project will induce and exacerbate traffic concerns. The Project also has
numerous conflicts with City planning and zoning requirements that were not remedied or
mitigated prior to Project approval. The agencies' approval of the Project without preparation of
an adequate environmental impact report that discloses, analyzes, and mitigates all of the
Project's potential impacts on the neighborhood and on the City of Los Angeles is a violation of
the California Environmental Quality Act.
This Petition is being provided pursuant to the notice provisions of the Public Resources
Code. Please contact me if you have any questions.
Sincerely,

Michelle N. Black

End: Petition for Writ of Mandate

EXHIBIT B

CHATTEN-BROWN & CARSTENS LLP


TELEPHONE: (310) 798-2400
FACSIMILE: (310) 798-2402

2200 Pacific Coast Highway, Ste. 318


Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
www.cbcearthlaw.com

E-MAIL:
MNB@CBCEARTHLAW.COM

September 8, 2015
Holly L. Wolcott, City Clerk
City of Los Angeles
200 N. Spring Street, Room 360
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Re:

Challenge to Approval of Archer Forward Project; Case No. CPC2014-666-VCU-ZAA-SPR; ENV-2011-2689-EIR

Dear Ms. Wolcott,


Please take notice that the Sunset Coalition plans to file a petition for writ of
mandate challenging the City of Los Angeles' August 4, 2015 approval of the Archer
Forward Project proposed for the campus of the Archer School for Girls pursuant to the
California Environmental Quality Act.
Sincerely,

Michelle N, Black

EXHIBIT C

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CHATTEN-BROWN & CARSTENS LLP


Douglas P. Carstens, SBN 193439
Michelle Black, SBN 261962
2200 Pacific Coast Hwy, Suite 31.8
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
310.798.2400; Fax 310.798.2402

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Attorneys for Petitioners


Sunset Coalition,
Brentwood Residents Coalition,
Brentwood Hills Homeowners Association,
David and Zofia Wright

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SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

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FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

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SUNSET COALITION; BRENTWOOD


RESIDENTS COALITION; BRENTWOOD
HILLS HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION;
and DAVID AND ZOFIA WRIGHT
Petitioners,

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v.
CITY OF LOS ANGELES
Respondent.
ARCHER SCHOOL FOR GIRLS,
Does 1-10

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Real Parties In Interest

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) CASE NO.:
)
)
) NOTICE OF ELECTION TO PREPARE
)
THE ADMILNISTRATIVE RECORD
)
)
)
(Violation of California Environmental
)
Quality
Act and Los Angeles Municipal Code)
)
)
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)
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)
)
)

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NOTICE OF ELECTION

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE: Pursuant to Public Resources Code section 21167.6.

Petitioners, Sunset Coalition, Brentwood Residents Coalition, Brentwood Hills Homeowners

Association, and David and Zofia Wright hereby elect to prepare the administrative record in the

above-entitled action.

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DATE: September 9, 2015

Respectfully Submitted,
CHATTEN-BROWN & CARSTENS LLP

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By.

Doalas P. Carstens
Michelle Black
Attorneys for Petitioners

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NOTICE OF ELECTION