2017-08-11 / Letters

‘Mega-structure’ is too tall, dense

I am writing to protest AMG & Associates’ proposed redevelopment of the Bellwood Plaza at the corner of Alamo and Tapo streets. The Bellwood Plaza has been an eyesore and potential crime scene for years. Incredibly poor management of the center by the owners has left a deserted shopping center but does not justify changing the use or building a four-story mega-structure in its place.

The proposed housing development is too tall. At four stories, it will be double the height of anything else in this residential neighborhood.

The destruction of retail properties will result in a significant reduction of local business and retail services in a neighborhood that is already underserved.

The housing density in this neighborhood is typical for a suburban area with single-family homes and a buffer of two-story apartments and condominiums, mostly on Alamo. Adding 278 apartments in a four-story building is more reflective of urban and higher-density residential, and not appropriate for this section of Simi Valley.

Our neighborhood consists of low-density, owner-occupied residential units. The proposed AMG development is completely out of touch with the community. We moved to Simi Valley because we want to live in an area with low-traffic flows, open space and safety. Allowing 278 apartments into this community will increase crime and change the character of the neighborhood for the worse.

AMG says they will monitor the “character” of rental tenants. If they do it as well as they manage the Bellwood Plaza, we will have real trouble. The city cannot enforce tenant selection and there is no guarantee AMG won’t sell the property as soon as it is fully tenanted and leave the citizens of Simi Valley holding the bag. John Marquis Simi Valley

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