Overcoming Obstacles

There were two predominant sites that were considered for the location of Broadview, the first was a 10-acre lot located on 120th street near Western. The idea of building halted when it was determined the property was an excellent prospect for oil and it was leased to The Oil Company for prospecting. The next property was purchased in 1936 by Winifred Mankowski. This property was located between Sepulveda and Military Avenue on Charnock Road.

While the Board had been advised that the variance zoning of a sanitorium should not be difficult for this property it became an uphill battle. A local developer, Fritz B. Burns and Co., had already purchased 240 acres of property around this lot for a housing development and argued that a sanitorium would prevent the success of a suburban neighborhood. Also, due to misinformation believed to be given by the developer, 100% of the surrounding neighbors rallied against the idea with a petition refusing the zoning of a sanitorium.

Broadview’s attorney Kimpton Ellis proposed the following when it came to the handling of the neighbors thought. “…it seems to me that it would be a loving thing to call on these people and explain to them more clearly the type of home which you proposed to erect and conduct and the kind of thought that motivates Christian Scientists, even though you do not acquire the aforementioned property and construct your home thereon. It seems to me that much good can be done by this course and that it may be beneficial not only to at least some of the people who are thus approached, but to your own plans which of course are bound to unfold satisfactorily, even though your building site may be elsewhere.”

The board took Ellis’ words close to heart and called on each neighbor to explain Christian Science and the purpose of the sanitorium. In December 1939, the Commission officially denied the zone variance request for the following reasons. They felt the facility might impede the building of private residences near the property but more importantly in the major highway plan two 80-foot boulevards were planned to proceed directly through the property. However, the Commission did make it a point to include in their report that the statements made to discredit and reflect adversely against the sanitorium were not factually supported and such inferences were not justified. Had the zoning succeeded, today our quiet refuge would be gently nestled in the middle of the 405 freeway.

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