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Councilman Rosendahl Returned Developer's Money Before Flip-Flopping On Project

City Ethics Commission records show that Los Angeles' Westside Councilman, Bill Rosendahl, might have gotten cold feet long before his withdrawal of support last month for a massive Westside development. Sometime last year he gave back campaign contributions from the developer's president and from an entity formed by the developer.

The give-back totaled $1,000, including $500 he returned to Michael Lombardi, president of Stonebridge Holdings, and $500 given back to Westside Medical Park, LLC, an entity run by Stonebridge. Westside Medical Park also happens to be the original name of the proposed development at West Olympic Boulevard and Bundy Drive. (He also received $500 contributions from Stonebridge Holdings itself and from a woman named Susan Lombardi).

Some residents last month protested the 12-acre, mixed-use project, which they said would add 21,000 extra car trips per day to the area. The developer spins it as a place for senor living and medical offices, but it also includes retail space and market-rate residential units.

Rosendahl withdrew his support for Bundy Village recently, saying it would have to be significantly downsized to retain his approval.

Then, a committee formed by Rosendahl to help the developer downsize it to the liking of community members reported recently that Lombardi had refused to meet with the group. The developer denied that he had refused to meet with concerned community members, but didn't address whether or not he had snubbed Rosendahl's committee specifically.