In its monthly meeting last night, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council’s Land Use Committee voted to recommend that the GWNC board support two new housing developments on Wilton Place, and also discussed two new restaurant liquor permit applications.
532 N. Wilton Place
This project would replace an existing single-family home with a new three-story duplex at the rear of the property, and a new 2-story single-family dwelling with attached Accessory Dwelling Unit at the front of the lot. The property is currently zoned for multi-family residential development, so this project is within the currently allowed density, and no special permissions are needed.
Committee members did ask why the proposed front building, which looks much like the “duplex” proposed for the rear of the property, is instead labeled as a single family residence with an attached ADU, and project representative Gregg Adams said the definitions were probably determined by the architect based on the number of parking spaces included with each building – the “duplex” has two parking spaces, one for each unit, but ADUs do not require parking, so the front building has only one parking space for the “single family residence.”
Committee members also expressed concerns about the fences shown in the project renderings, which appear to exceed the city’s 42″ maximum allowed height, but Adams said these are only concept drawings, and any fences actually installed will comply with city regulations (no exceptions are being requested).
In the end, the committee voted by a margin of 8 votes in favor, 2 opposed and 1 abstention to recommend that the GWNC board officially support the project.
810 S. Wilton Pl.
This project, which was previously presented to the committee in a slightly different form, would now replace a single-family home at the site with a four-story, 14-unit apartment building, with three units reserved for Very Low Income tenants. Project representative David Park said the developers have revised the project based on suggestions from the committee at the previous presentation, including requests for color changes (from red trim to blue in this version), height reductions (from five stories to four), including at least he same number of parking spaces as there are units in the building (there are 17 in this version where there were only 13 before), and larger units (9 two-bedroom units in the new version, with one-1-bedroom and four studios, instead of the previous version’s 6 two-bedroom units, 3 one-bedrooms, and 8 studios).
Committee comments on these changes were very favorable, and committee members also thanked Park for this time including renderings that show the project in context with its existing neighbors, which previous drawings did not. In the end, the committee voted unanimously to recommend that the GWNC board support the project…and Park also thanked the committee, saying, “With your comments from the first time, it’s a better project [now].
6535 W. Melrose Ave., Suite 102
This application requests a permit to sell a full line of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption at a new restaurant in the recently completed mixed-use building at the NE corner of Melrose and Highland Aves. According to project representative Terri Dickerhoff, the new restaurant will be the first U.S. outpost of the German chain Sushi Palace, which now has more than 70 locations worldwide. Under the application, which was just filed last week, the requested hours for alcoholic beverage service would be from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the restaurant’s outside patio and on week nights, and until 2 a.m. on weekends in the indoor dining area (alcohol would be served as part of the restaurant service only; there would be no separate bar).
Both committee members and residents of several adjacent communities who attended the meeting were generally supportive of the application, but they also expressed deep concerns about the 2 a.m. weekend closing time. Several people pointed out that the Mozza restaurants, at the SW corner of the same intersection, close at 10 p.m….and also that the nearby Cat & Fiddle pub and restaurant originally had a permit to be open to 2 a.m., but scaled back to an earlier closing after nearby neighbors complained about noise. Committee members also pointed out that, since liquor permits are attached to the property and not a specific business owner, a permit with late closing hours could become even more problematic if the proposed restaurant were later replaced by another with a less attractive business model.
While discussing possible options for different operating conditions, committee members also brought up the city’s new Restaurant Beverage Program, which will have a special set of rules for restaurants in “alcohol sensitive use areas,” and would award initial licenses in those areas for only a one-year provisional trial period. That program is specifically designed for areas where there is already a large concentration of restaurant liquor permits, but committee member Jane Usher, who lives in the Windsor Square neighborhood, said she has been looking into whether the sensitive use rules could be more broadly applicable for some parts of our Greater Wilshire area.
In the end, however, representatives of both the Hancock Park Neighborhood Association and the South Hollywood Neighborhood Association, which represent the nearest residential areas, invited Dickerhoff to discuss the application with their groups for further feedback, and after she readily agreed to do so, the committee voted unanimously to recommend that the GWNC board oppose the application until further discussion could happen after the neighborhood meetings.
4001 W. 6th Street
This application was also for a Conditional Use Permit to allow the sale and on-site consumption of a full line of alcoholic beverages, at the Daedo Sikdang restaurant. The project representative for this application did not respond to the committee’s invitation to make a presentation, however, so – as is the committee’s policy in such situations – it voted to recommend that the GWNC board oppose the application unless/until such a presentation is made.
The next meeting of the GWNC Land Use Committee will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22, via Zoom. The next meeting of the GWNC board will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9, 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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