After unanimously voting to recommend that the GWNC board oppose a project at 5058 West Maplewood last month, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council (GWNC) Land Use Committee voted at its meeting on Tuesday evening to unanimously recommend that its full board now support the project.
The collective change of heart by committee members was the result of changes made by the project’s architect Hamid Dehghan, with approval from his client, Frank Ota. The changes include increasing the number of parking spaces from 9 to 12, removing glass railings from the balconies and replacing them with solid railings that hide possibly unsightly items that are stored on balconies, and removing the perimeter wall around the building and replacing it with a 30 inch high planter box that will now be used to capture rainwater on the site, explained Mr. Dehghan.
The motion to recommend support of the project was approved by a 9-0 vote in favor of the project as presented. Several committee members said they appreciated the architect’s consideration of the comments from the committee last month. One committee member also said it would be nice to see more parking, so that each unit has at least one space. There was some discussion that parking would most likely be addressed by the landlord when negotiating the rent with tenants.
In other business, the applicant for the project at 3377 W. Olympic Blvd asked the committee not to take action on that project since the developers are still doing outreach to the neighborhood. Since a hearing date with the Planning Department has not yet been set, the committee agreed to hold it over to the next meeting. (Last month, the committee voted to recommend opposing the project, at the request of nearby residents who were also in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting.)
The committee also voted unanimously (9-0) to oppose the project at 985-991 3rd Avenue, formerly 3607 W. Olympic Blvd., since the applicant was not there to present the project. (Case number ENV-2015-4443-EAF) The application is for a Tentative Tract Map to build a 6-unit Small Lot Subdivision project. The applicant came to an earlier meeting but was not prepared to present at that time.
After some discussion about the nature of the application, the committee also voted to recommend opposing an application to allow a spray booth at an existing auto body shop at 5226 W. Melrose Avenue, because the applicant has not made a presentation to the committee. The vote was 6-1-1.
Mathew Hayden, a land use consultant representing the developer for a project at 4749 West Elmwood was seeking approval to demolish an existing single family home and construct a 14 unit apartment building using the SB 1818 Density Bonus law, which allows a 32 percent increase in density. Current zoning permits only 9 units with a density bonus, but the developer would be allowed five more units since one unit will be set aside for a very low-income resident. The very low income unit is covenanted with the City’s housing department for 55 years, and must be reserved for low income households. The developers are also seeking a parking reduction and front yard reduction, changing the front yard setback from 15 feet to 12 feet. The project was scheduled for a hearing with the Planning Department on the following day, but public comments may still be submitted.
In the end, the Committee voted unanimously to recommend opposing the project because of its lack of consideration to the neighborhood and its existing architecture. Committee members asked the designer to carefully look at the neighborhood and come back to present the project again.
The Committeealso discussed a range of other issues but no actions were taken. The next GWNC Land Use Committee meeting will be held on September 26, 2107 at 6:30 p.m., and it will likely be held in a new location at the Eastern Presbyterian Church, 4270 W 6th Street. For more information visit GreaterWilshire.org.