In its monthly meeting last night, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council reviewed five current land use projects, and recommended that the GWNC board support three of the projects and oppose two others, at least for the time being.
716 N. Highland Ave. (Petit Trois Restaurant)
This application, for the renewal of the liquor permit at the Petit Trois restaurant, was first presented to the Land Use Committee last month. At that meeting, committee members voiced no objections to the application, which contains no changes in conditions from the previous permit, and which would continue to allow the sale and dispensing of a full line of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 a.m.
Because last month’s meeting was the first time the renewal application had been presented, however, and no city hearing date had been set yet, committee chair Philip Farha recommended that the committee wait a month before voting, to see if any significant comments, issues or objections were voiced by any of the restaurant’s nearby neighbors. At last night’s meeting, no objections were raised, and the committee voted unanimously to recommend that the GWNC board support the renewal of the restaurant’s liquor permit.
932 S. Gramercy Dr.
The item currently on the table for this address is a Demolition Pre-Inspection application, which would allow the demolition of a single family home to make room for the construction of a four-story, 17-unit apartment building, with two units reserved for Extremely Low Income tenants under the city’s Transit Oriented Communities guidelines. Project representatives also reported that the building will have 14 automobile parking spaces (six more than required under TOC guidelines), and provide two mature trees in the parkway space next to the street, with a fully landscaped 15-foot setback area in front of the building.
Committee members did not react favorably to the building’s overall design (committee member Susan O’Connell called it “another black and white box”), and also noted that because the project is already, according to the representatives, about “80%” of the way through the city’s plan check process, there is little or no opportunity, at this point, for productive discussions about how to improve the building and its design to better benefit the neighborhood.
The committee voted unanimously to recommend that the GWNC board oppose the project.
857-863 Gramercy Dr.
This project, which was first presented to the Land Use Committee in July, would provide the construction of a new 33-unit apartment building with 32 parking spaces (instead of the 17 required under Transit Oriented Communities guidelines). At the time it was first presented, committee members suggested several changes, including better articulation of several building elements, and – if possible – an increase in the number of units reserved for low and/or moderate income tenants.
At this meeting, project representative Khaldoon Khaireddin presented a revised rendering (above), in which the building’s balconies are now more prominent (instead of recessed into the corner space, as in the original design). Khaireddin also noted that while one mature street tree will be removed to make way for the new building’s driveway, four new street trees – all Western Sycamores, to match existing trees on the street – will be added along the parkway in front of the building. And, finally, in response to the committee’s previous requests, Khaireddin noted that while the current design still has the orignally-planned four units reserved for Extremely Low Income Tenants, the city would provide an opportunity, after the initial planning process has been completed, to submit a request to change the number of income-based units from four units for Extremly Low Income tenants to six units reserved for Very Low Income tenants.
Committee Chair Philip Farha said that he was not yet quite ready to support the project, and requested further community outreach…but in the end the committee voted by a margin of six votes in favor and two opposed to recommend that the GWNC Board support the application.
222 N. Manhattan Pl.
This project involves the construction of a new 4-story, 16 unit apartment building, built under Transit Oriented Communities guidelines, with two units reserved for Extremely Low Income tenants. No project representatives attended the meeting, however, and committee members reported that digging has already begun at the site. The committee voted unanimously, as is its policy when no presentation is made, to recommend that the GWNC board oppose the project.
219 N. St. Andrews Pl.
This item was another Demolition Pre-inspection application. No project representative attended the meeting, but a committee member’s phone call to the homeowner, Steve Vernetti, confirmed that the permit is intended to allow the demolition of an existing garage on the property, followed by construction of a new two-story Accessory Dwelling Unit.
Vernetti confirmed the project details to the Buzz this morning, provided the above renderings from architect David Thompson, and noted that the project will also include construction of a new master suite at the rear of the main house. Vernetti said the front facade of the house will not be changed, and only the top edge of the new ADU will be visible from the street.
Because ADUs are generally allowed by the city with a simple administrative approval, the Land Use Committee voted unanimously last night to recommend that the GWNC Board support the demolition pre-inspection application.
The full GWNC Board will review last night’s recommendations at its next meeting on Wednesday, November 11, at 7 p.m. (via Zoom.)
The next meeting of the GWNC Land Use Committee will be held on Tuesday, November 24, at 6:30 p.m., also via Zoom.
About Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.
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