Neighbors oppose L.A. Tolerance Museum expansion plan
Neighbors are losing their tolerance for West Los Angeles' planned Museum of Tolerance, which features exhibits dealing with the Holocaust, racism, extremism and human rights abuses around the world.
People who live near the museum are opposing plans to build a two-story cultural center that could be rented out for private events such as weddings.
The museum also wants to expand operating hours to midnight when such events are held, and to reduce its 100-foot (30 1/2-meter) buffer zone from homes to 20 feet (6 meters).
But some neighbors have collected about 70 signatures on a petition calling on the city to reject the proposal.
"They don't care about us as neighbors," said Sharron Lerman, who lives two blocks away and is a museum member. "Very insensitive," she added.
The 14-year-old museum has exhibits dealing with the Holocaust, racism, extremism and human rights abuses around the world. It has drawn about 4 million visitors.
The museum is owned by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The center's founder and dean, Rabbi Marvin Hier, said the 13,500-square-foot (1,254-square-meter) cultural center was necessary to raise money and accommodate growing demand.
Cultural institutions must be allowed reasonable growth, he said. We can't stay where we are in the same amount of square footage.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and other officials have written letters of support for the expansion to the city's Planning Department.
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