Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

GWNC Tackles Land Use Issues

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez and CD34 candidate addresses GWNC at their meeting last night
Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez, who’s also a candidate in the Congressional District 34 run-off election, introduced himself at the GWNC Board meeting last night.

The Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council voted to oppose two density bonus projects and two other housing projects in the neighborhood following recommendations of the GWNC Land Use Committee to support neighborhood opposition to the projects.

Residents from Sycamore Square asked for support of their appeal of a Density Bonus project at 850 S. La Brea Ave., which had already been approved by the City without any public hearings or notifications, as permitted by state law.

The project calls for the demolition of an existing commercial retail center and new construction of a mixed used building consisting of 40 residential units over approximately 4,000 sf of retail space on the ground floor. Housing data: 30 base units, 36 market rate, 4 very low income (11% set aside), and 33.33% density bonus requested. 4 floors of residential units over approximately 4,000 sf of ground floor commercial space, plus two levels of subterranean garage. Two on-menu incentives for FAR increase to 3:1 and 20% open space reduction. DIR-2016-4543-DB, ENV-2016- 4544-CE). Once the adjacent neighbors were notified of the approval, three of them filed appeals. The appeals will be heard by the Planning Commission this morning.

Sue Horwitz, President of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association, said her neighborhood has been “ground zero for development ever since the construction of the project at Wilshire and La Brea.”  That project, along with the new The Mansfield project, now under construction at Wilshire and Mansfield, add 612 units to a neighborhood of 188 properties.

“Our streets are a mess,” added Horowitz, “You could lose a small child in the potholes, please help us with this appeal!”

The motion for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council to oppose the Density Bonus project at 850 S. La Brea Ave., and support the appeals filed by directly-affected residents, asking that the City Planning Commission reconsider the Director’s Determination approving the project, was approved by the Board by a margin of 14 in favor, zero opposed and two abstentions.

The application for legalization of one unit, increasing the total from 28 to 29 at 950 S. St. Andrews Place (ZA-2017-608-ZV, ZA- 2017-609-EAF) was opposed by unanimous vote until the applicant returns with corrected application language and parking space clarification.

Similarly, the Board voted unanimously to oppose a project at 836 N. McCadden Place,  which calls for the demolition of an existing single family residence and construction of four (4) small lot homes, until the South Hollywood Neighborhood Association could present its position to the GWNC Land Use Committee. This motion to oppose also passed unanimously. AA-2017-328- PMLA-SL, ENV-2017-329-CE.

Finally, the Board voted unanimously to oppose the application for a Density Bonus at 500 S. Manhattan Place, which calls for the demolition of a small apartment building with 4 units, to be replaced with a 5-story, 32-unit apartment complex with 4-stories of residential over one grade level parking. The requested Density Bonus project allows for reduced side yard setbacks (20% reduction from 8 ft to 6.4 ft for north and south side yards) and rear yard setbacks (20% reduction from 17 ft to 15 ft for rear yard), allowing a much larger, more densely populated building in exchange for four (4) affordable units. DIR- 2017-181-DB, ENV-2017-182-EAF, ZA-2017-0052-ZV-ZAA.

In other business, the GWNC determined it would have a special meeting before the Land Use Committee meeting on May 23 at 6:30 p.m., to approve applications for Neighborhood Purpose Grants in time to meet a city deadline for writing checks.  There are funds available for two grants, up to $1,000 each, for local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations or public schools, for community improvement projects. The deadline for applications is Friday, June 02, 2017, by 5:00 p.m. (PST).

The next regular meeting of the GWNC board will be held on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, 7:00 p.m. at the Ebell of Los Angeles.

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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the 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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