The LA City Council supports the Harvard-Westlake athletics campus in Studio City

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The LA City Council supports the Harvard-Westlake athletics campus in Studio City

LA Politics, Education

Dakota Smith

November 14, 2023

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved plans for a private project


athletic complex in Studio City over the objections of neighbors concerned about noise and traffic from the project.

The council voted 15-0 to allow Harvard-Westlake


planned campus to move forward, with a filed appeal denied


this year by opponents. The sports complex replaces the Weddington Golf & Tennis Club, which was sold to the school in 2017.

Two playing fields, a two-story gymnasium, a swimming pool, underground parking and eight tennis courts

are scheduled for the

location near the LA River. The sports facilities will serve the school’s two campuses,

in Studio City and Holmby Hills,

with shuttles bringing in the students.

More than five acres of open space will be available to the public, school representatives said.

Many people spoke out in favor of the Harvard-Westlake plans at the council meeting, with some residents warning that condominiums could rise on the riverfront site instead. Others praised the planned open space.

“Neighbors who live in nearby apartments and don’t have backyards will have a place to play,” said Susan Welsh, a Benedict Canyon resident and mother of two Harvard-Westlake students.

Terry Barnum, director of athletics at Harvard-Westlake, described the council vote as a victory for Studio City.

“We have been a good neighbor for decades and we will continue to be a good neighbor,” Barnum said.

Studio City resident Teri Austin


Opponents plan to sue the city over the project.

The city Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit for the athletics campus in August, prompting opponents to appeal.

Opponents also filed a complaint with the city’s Ethics Commission last month, claiming two of the planning commissioners should have recused themselves from the vote because they attended Harvard-Westlake. Both commissioners also donated to the school, with one commissioner donating $500,000 over a period of more than a decade, according to the complaint.

Both commissioners told The Times they consulted with the city attorney before the vote.

Councilmember Nithya Raman, who represents the district, told her colleagues at Tuesday’s meeting that her office was fighting for several protections for the neighborhood, including a ban on events related to the 2028 Olympics at the site.

“My office is committed to ensuring that the school remains a responsible and responsive owner and developer,” Raman said.


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