STUDIO CITY—The Studio City Neighborhood Council (SCNC) voted 13-2 to keep embattled Board Member Lisa Sarkin in her position, against a strong tide of criticism by city residents who have accused Sarkin of acting on her own agenda and not in the interest of the city.
The council’s decision was allegedly reached in light of news that the opposition campaign to remove Sarkin may have been driven by a competing developer of the 96,000 sq. ft. Sportsmens’ Landing retail center, which was proposed near Sportsmens’ Lodge at Ventura Boulevard and Coldwater Canyon Avenue. This is something the residents who lead the campaign deny.
It was from Sarkin’s backing of the project that the controversy surrounding her first stemmed. According to the website OurStudioCity.org, Sarkin, who has been an active member of the council for 10 years now, advocated for this project without the approval of the residents, they claim. It was also not given a proper public hearing.
Though the project would bring a commercial center near the Sportsmens’ Lodge and its hotel, both owned by Ventura Boulevard Associates LLC (VBA LLC), it would cause a number of problems for the surrounding area. It would worsen already existing parking issues for the hotel which VBA LLC has complained about in the past. The project would create unwanted traffic and noise problems for neighborhood residents.
In defending her actions to the board, Sarkin maintained that she acted “in accordance with the rules and regulations of the neighborhood council.”
Though many residents have been against Sarkin since word of the project spread, not all city residents have disapproved of her actions, as some believe that she is in fact working in the best interest of the city.