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Larchmont Village Residents Lose Appeal on Beachwood/Melrose Project

Drawing of proposed project at 5570 Melrose Ave – 647 Beachwood, which has been opposed by Larchmont Village residents as too large for the neighborhood

Larchmont Village residents lost their appeal on the project 5570 Melrose Blvd. / 647 Beachwood Dr. Tuesday afternoon at the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Committee meeting. The committee voted unanimously to deny the appeal brought by adjacent residents, who argued that density bonuses provided by the City to encourage more housing have resulted in a development that is out of scale with the surrounding homes, and which has too few parking spaces and would add to the current parking shortages and traffic congestion in the neighborhood.

The project (CPC-2016-4316-DB) had been reviewed by and won the support of the Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association, the GWNC board and its Land Use Committee, as well as CD 4 City Council member David Ryu’s staff.  But Tracey Clarke, a resident of Plymouth Blvd. who organized the appeal,  asserted that approval was given without the involvement of the neighbors who live closest to the project site. Clarke and other neighbors have hired attorney Beth Dorris and started a campaign to raise funds and awareness of their effort.

“Unfortunately, the PLUM Committee denied the Appeal,” said Clarke in an e-mail to residents after the hearing. “It has been posted on the August 16th agenda for review and consent by the City Council.” However, Clarke said there is still time to submit public comments, which must be sent to City Council Clerk no later than August 15th.  Comments should be sent to [email protected], and they should reference Council File: 17-0649.

Over the course of discussions, the developer, Crescent Capital Partners LLC, agreed to several “Self-Imposed” Conditions for the project, which were added to the record at the request of the GWNC. They include:

  • Voluntary Restricted Hours for the rooftop pool deck and second-floor outdoor courtyard, in concurrence with surrounding neighbors, as follows:
    • Sunday – Thursday: 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM
    • Friday – Saturday: 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Vehicle Parking on P1 Level (at-grade) will be “unbundled” to provide additional overnight parking spaces for residential tenants after commercial business hours.
  • Commercial business hours are proposed from 7:00 AM to 12:00 AM, daily. Exact hours to be confirmed pending the confirmation of tenant(s).
  • Residential tenants will be prohibited from applying to the City of Los Angeles for preferential parking permits for off-site/on-street parking within the surrounding neighborhood, including Beachwood Drive, Gower Street, Plymouth Street, and Clinton Street.
  • Residential tenants will be prohibited from utilizing units as temporary vacation rentals or listing units on temporary rental service websites including, but not limited to, AirBnb.
  • A minimum of 20% of the total number of vehicle parking spots shall be capable of supporting Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE).
  • A minimum of four (4) vehicle parking spots will be installed with Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers.

Clarke said she plans to ask Ryu’s office to help hold the developers to their promises.

“I will personally be calling Julia Duncan in the CD4 office to request that the developers “self-imposed” conditions be formally added to the Letter of Determination in the hopes of getting an enforcement mechanism for the “volunteered” items,” wrote Clarke, who also thanked neighbors for their support and continued interest in protecting Larchmont Village. “I hope we can turn that passion into continued efforts to secure HPOZ status for our neighborhood!”

In addition to the voluntary conditions, Crescent provided a rendering showing the proposed development in relation to the rest of the neighborhood. The proposed building is 56 feet high with five stories of residential dwelling units above ground-floor commercial space, making it taller than the current Paramount Studios Building (estimated to be approximately 45-47 feet tall) across the street.  It’s worth noting though, that despite those relative heights, drawing below makes it look like the new development would appear shorter than the Paramount building.

Rendering provided by the developer at the request of a resident illustrates the scale of the project in relation to the surrounding neighborhood. (Relative heights may or may not be accurately reflected.)
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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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