At its meeting yesterday, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission voted to reject appeals of two proposed developments that employ Transit Oriented Communities affordable housing incentives.
The first, a project from local developer and landlord Nayssan Properties, would rise from a long-vacant property at the intersection of Santa Monica and Beverly Glen Boulevards. Plans call for a seven-story building featuring 120 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments - including 12 to be set aside for extremely low-income renters - and parking for 169 vehicles on three subterranean levels.
Nayssan had originally looked to entitle the project as a smaller 96-unit development, but increased the size of its project following the adoption of the TOC guidelines in 2017.
The contemporary podium-type building is being designed by Sam Ghanouni, and is portrayed with an array of cantilevered balconies and terraced amenity decks.
The appellant, listed as Stacy Antler of the Century Glen Homeowners Association, contends that the project does not comply with zoning regulations and should not have been eligible for a categorical exemption to the California Environmental Quality Act. A later submission made by the appellant argues that the project could be at risk during a major earthquake due to proximity to a fault line that runs roughly along the path of Santa Monica Boulevard. A staff report to the Planning Commission disputed these assertions, and recommended that the appeal should be denied.
Commissioners agreed with that staff assessment, citing a lack of evidence provided by the appellant. The Commission voted to deny the appeal, while also placing a condition on the project that would prevent the developer from exceeding the amount of parking required by the Los Angeles Municipal code.
The second project, from architect and applicant Sam Aslanian, calls for the construction of a six-story, 70-unit apartment complex - with seven affordable units - on a currently vacant lot at the corner of Klump Avenue and Otsego Street in North Hollywood. Plans also call for 60 parking spaces on two subterranean levels.
Aslanian's project faced an appeal from an entity called Otsego Noho, LLC - an affiliate of Glendale-based real estate firm Serrano Development - which owns an adjacent property. The appellant contends that the project has already been under construction for six months, and expressed doubts that the Aslanian can be made with various conditions of approval as a result - including on-site affordable housing requirements. The appellant concluded by requested a stop notice for all work at the project site, and a reevaluation of the development's exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act.
The applicant's representative Athena Novak responded by noting that the ongoing work at the property was in accordance with the Los Angeles Municipal Code. An applicant is able to file for construction permits for a property while also pursuing entitlements for a larger project via TOC or density bonus incentives. Novak stated that construction at Klump and Otsego had to date been limited to below-grade and podium construction, and was in full compliance with city regulations.
The City Planning Commission, while sympathetic to the appellant's frustrations, voted to deny the appeal, in concurrence with a staff recommendation.