A draft environmental impact report on the proposed development on the northwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and West Knoll Drive says the project would have a significant impact on evening rush hour traffic at the intersection of Hancock Avenue and Holloway Drive.
The report describes the impact as “significant and unavoidable” with no feasible measures to reduce that impact.
The report, prepared by Rincon Consultants and Fehr and Peers, notes that 17 intersections (including one in Los Angeles) and eight street segments were studied. It said that nine of those intersections, including Hancock and Holloway, already have a “level of service” during rush hours of E or F. “F” is the lowest level of service, with vehicles having to stop 80 or more seconds than usual.
“Backups from nearby locations or on cross streets may restrict or prevent movement of vehicles out of the intersection approaches,” the study says, noting such backups could cause “tremendous delays with continuously increasing queue lengths.”
The nine intersections with high levels of traffic congestion are:
— Hancock Avenue and Holloway Drive (afternoon peak hour)
— Hancock Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard (morning peak hour)
— Westbourne Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard (afternoon peak hour)
— La Cienega Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard (AM, mid-day, and afternoon peak hours)
— La Cienega Boulevard and Fountain Avenue (morning peak hour)
— La Cienega Boulevard and Holloway Drive (afternoon peak hour)
— La Cienega Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard (AM, mid-day, and afternoon peak hours)
— La Cienega Boulevard and Sherwood Drive (morning peak hour)
— La Cienega Boulevard and Melrose Avenue (afternoon peak hour)
The development is a project of Soto Capital LP, one of several companies owned by Behnam Soroudi, who also has extensive real estate interests through his Ruby Group, Harper Enterprises and other companies.
It has been revised since it was proposed in 2013, with Soto adding two residential lots to the project site (along West Knoll Drive. As now designed, it will include 97 apartment units and 12 “live/work” units, 6,079 square feet of office space, a 3,718 square foot hair salon, a 2,820 square foot restaurant space and 15,678 square feet for shops. It would have one driveway onto West Knoll and one driveway onto Santa Monica Boulevard that will serve as the primary commercial
entrance and would allow right and left turns into the project and right-turns only out of it.
While the EIR found the construction of the project would generate traffic and noise, it said there are options for mitigating the impact of those on neighbors. It found no other environmental issues that were serious or could not be mitigated.
The project has drawn criticism from its neighbors, who feel the design isn’t compatible with existing on West Knoll and are concerned about the traffic it would generate.
The EIR must be reviewed by the Planning Commission and eventually approved by the City Council for it to begin. The Soroudi family has a major donor to the campaigns of West Hollywood City Council members.