The developer of the Sunset La Cienega project is seeking authorization to remove parking spaces on the north side of Sunset Boulevard between Alta Loma and La Cienega for 11 months.
The 12 parking spaces would be removed to allow the developer to shift the current five lanes, which include one turn lane, 10 feet north into the space now set aside for parking.
In a memo to the City Council, the city’s Department of Public Works says that would allow closure of the parking area and part of the southernmost traffic lane to create a buffer zone between traffic on Sunset Boulevard and the cranes and other construction equipment that will be used to dig 60 feet beneath the surface of the property to construct a parking garage. The proposed alteration in traffic and parking is on Monday night’s City Council agenda.
Sunset La Cienega, formerly known as Sunset Millenium, is a massive development by the CIM Group that includes a parcel east of La Cienega that will have two 10-story towers with 296 hotel rooms and 15,000 square feet of retail space. The parcel between La Cienega and Alta Loma will have two eight-story towers with 190 residential units and 55,000 square feet of retail. Both parcels will feature large public plazas with viewing terraces.
Elyse Eisenberg, chair of the West Hollywood Heights Neighborhood Association, has asked members of the City Council to remove the proposed traffic alteration from its consent calendar on which items are placed that are automatically approved by the Council without comment from the public.
“The construction phase of the project was not supposed to have additional impacts to the traffic flow,” Eisenberg said in an email message to Council members and members of the neighborhood association. “This was part of the project’s entitlement approval. That is now changing, along with other changes that have been approved without public input – such as eliminating 350 of the 435 public parking spaces and the tunnel under La Cienega linking the two sites that this project was supposed to include.
“It goes without saying this project is already impacting Sunset traffic on a daily basis and that’s just a few construction trucks. These four towers will have about 500 hotel rooms and condos, plus retail and restaurant space when complete.”
Eisenberg also noted the fire at a condominium building on Horn Avenue just north of Sunset Boulevard last Thursday. “The emergency responders told us it was difficult to get to our building and many of the fire trucks were parked up and down our street as well as along Sunset which was closed in both directions for hours,” she said in her email message. “Very likely many of you were impacted by this.
“What would happen if there was nowhere for cars to pull over to allow emergency responders to get to a residence – single or multi-family – because of all the increased congestion?”
The Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the City Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica.