WeHo Planning Commission Approves 3-Story Condo on North Ogden

1021 N. Ogden Dr. design
1021 N. Ogden Dr. design
West Hollywood’s Planning Commission unanimously approved Thursday a three-story, seven-unit condominium building at 1021 Ogden Dr., south of Santa Monica Boulevard, despite protests from neighbors who said the building was incompatible with the neighborhood.

Several residents decried what they called the “Manhattanization” of West Hollywood, saying too many large, high-density buildings are being approved in the city, especially on the city’s Eastside.

“Stop the overdevelopment of our very precious city,” said resident Dan Morin.

Commissioner John Altschul dismissed the overdevelopment argument, saying the city has lost almost 3,000 residents in the last 30 years, with the population going down from 37,000 to 34,000 according to the 2010 census.

“It is the obligation of the body politic to provide housing,” Altschul said. “Six months after it’s built, we’ll never know we were unhappy here tonight.”

The three-story modern building will a three one-bedroom units, four two-bedroom units and a partially underground parking garage. It will replace a single family home built in 1923 on a street primarily populated by one- and two-story buildings of varying architectural styles.

Several residents argued that the building was too tall and therefore incompatible with the neighborhood. Resident Lauren Meister, a former planning commissioner, said the city needs to reinstate “height averaging,” which requires that buildings be no taller than the average of the existing buildings on the street.

Commissioner Donald DeLuccio said the City Council dropped height averaging from the city’s zoning code over a decade ago and there was no way to return to it now because so many three and four-story residential buildings had been built since then.

Residents of the two-story apartment building immediately north of the property complained that the building will block both their view and the light coming into their apartments as well as invade their privacy.

DeLuccio pointed out that views are not protected in the city. Building architect Dean Larkin said he had deliberately limited the number of windows on the lower floors of the building’s north-facing side to ensure those next door neighbors could maintain some degree of privacy.

  1. Why would anyone want to come and visit here ,,,,,when you just have Walgreens cvs and when u have all those stores where u came from the small store charm is disappearing fast home owners are leaving tenants just come and go ,so there is less of a pool of people that come out to meeting ,tenants and condo owners are much less likely to come out and vote or come and let there views known , seems like a endless attack on the city I have known for 40 yrs fire them all ,,,, so much nepotizam , never stops no new blood no creative ideas

  2. If all goes to plan, soon all of WeHo will have the exact look and feel of The Grove. The parking, the chain stores and the crowds. Why not cut to the chase and appoint Rick Caruso planning commission chair now and be done with it?

  3. The Planning Commissioners are the real power brokers in Weho, mostly attorneys, architects, realtors and asset managers, with much to gain by wielding their influence. They are appointed by Councilmembers as payback for garnering votes, hosting fundraisers and soliciting contributions from those wealthy both inside and out of our city. A little investigation into the Planning Commissioner’s resumes and relationships to Councilmembers, future candidates and developers alike will paint a clear picture of this. It is no wonder they approve the majority of large-scale developments and create hardships by refusing simple requests from small property owners and local residents. By 2015, there will be little to remind us of the “urban village” Mayor Pro Tem, John D’Amico campaigned to retain and for the demolition of it and ensuing over development and congestion; we can thank the “fat cats” on the Planning Commission.

  4. It makes you wonder why there is even a planning commission. If they just green-light every project submitted by developers, heck, a monkey could do that. I guess sometimes they ask for the color of the facade to be changed. Very slowly and bit by bit the charm and neighborhood feel of West Hollywood is changing for the worse. Less local owned businesses, no shop small, no cute stores. Only big box homes and big box stores.

  5. Bring out the design police! A yes! Our Mayberry Architectural Experts!

    These buildings look great and in the heart of a growing metropolis, we can’t maintain such low density forever. You want single-story, single family homes? Move to the burbs. You can’t get that in the heart of the second-largest city in America.

    And Weho could use a little Manhattanization. A more walkable, more dense, more vibrant community. ONWARD!

  6. Who is paying these people off building more ugly cheap buildings just ugly boxes with now design features ,,,, let’s look at Santa Monica instead of giving more money to affordable housing lets have a fund for more parks

  7. I actually like this project. When it was first introduced, there were a lot of detailed renderings and pictures circulated. Seven units replacing one is no big deal unless you look at the whole picture. It’s hard to count all the muli-unit residential projects going on or proposed all over the city.

    Given the rate of development, this same scenario will happen on almost any lot with a single family residence that is zoned for multi-unit residential. The money is just too easy for a developer to walk away from. Pay for one, build and sell 7.

    And old rental housing stock is being neglected by owners hoping to sell, go out of the rental business, and cash in on redevelopment as “luxury” condos. Slowly but surely, the City is becoming a city of million dollar condos and “luxury” market-rate rental apartments with only a few pockets of single family homes (West Hollywood West, Norma Triangle, etc.). Affordable rental housing is disappearing. That’s surely a different vision from the City’s founding 30 years ago.

    @Cathy – I’m with you. Nick Garzilli’s pod transport system is looking better than ever these days!

  8. Commissioner Alschul mentions that our census went down 3,000 people in the past 30 years. How did an additional 3,000 people fit if we didn’t have all these new “highrises”? What is the ultimate goal, 40,000, 50,000? A population of how many will put an end to yes, the “Manhattanizarion” of West Hollywood? And by the way, I have said this before….Nick Garzilli’s overhead rapid transit pod system looks better and better to me every day…..

Comments are closed.