West Los Angeles Veterans’ Campus To Add Housing Unit
The West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus on Friday held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new state veterans home, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Jim Nicholson, secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, said veterans would find "matchless care" at the 396-bed facility, scheduled to open in 2010.
Nicholson said commercial development on the campus still is a possibility but added that decisions must be "consensual," with all sides participating. Nicholson said, "In the end, we will have to make decisions based on what is best for veterans."
Nicholson has been criticized by residents, veterans and elected officials for encouraging private development on the West Los Angeles campus. VA officials say revenue from developers helps pay for improvements (Groves, Los Angeles Times, 7/7).
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) in May introduced a bill that would extend development restrictions to the entire campus. Development has been restricted on 109 acres of the 388-acre campus since 1988.
Waxman's bill would bar any portion of the campus from being sold or used for commercial development (California Healthline, 5/9).
Nicholson said he hoped by the fall to present a master plan for the facility to the community (Los Angeles Times, 7/7).