WeHo West Residents Push for Environmental Review of Nearby L.A. Project

The West Hollywood West Residents Association is asking its neighborhood residents to ask the West Hollywood City Council to push the Los Angeles City Council for an environmental impact review of a proposed six-story apartment building at 431 N. La Cienega Blvd.

The building would be on a quarter-acre lot now occupied by Mikey’s Car Wash that is within the City of Los Angeles. However, the west side of that property abuts the rear of houses on Westmount Drive just south of Rosewood Avenue.

Rendering of proposed mixed-use building at 431 N. La Cienega Blvd.

Developer Stark Enterprises plans to construct a building with 96 apartment units, 5,500 square feet of retail space and up to 8,500 square feet of restaurant space.

In a post on Facebook, WHWRA says that residents on the east side of Weho West have been seeking neighborhood support for their “efforts to encourage a better and more public review of (the) new proposed development…”

The post notes that the building will be 85-feet tall, yet “the City of Los Angeles has told Weho West residents that there are no plans for an Environmental Impact Report or a study to evaluate the effects of this project on traffic, groundwater and hydration, shadow and shade or noise and privacy impacts from this massive building looming over single family homes.”

“Residents are seeking petition signatures and encouraging their neighbors to attend council meetings and send emails to the city council asking for West Hollywood to pressure Los Angeles into commissioning a full EIR and a complete study that will consider protections to our established neighborhood.”

The Ohio-based developer has agreed to set aside nine apartment units for very-low income people in exchange for a density bonus of 40% over what the City of Los Angeles’ planning regulations now allow.

Stark Enterprises is said to have bought the property for $21.25 million, or about $652 a square foot, one of the most expensive property deals on a square foot basis in the area.

The L.A. City Council already has approved a proposal by Rick Caruso to erect a 16-story tower at 333 La Cienega Blvd., near the Stark property and just south of the Beverly Center. That property is a quarter-mile south of the West Hollywood border. Caruso hopes to have it completed in 2020.

Caruso’s project was supported then opposed then supported by L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz, whose 5th District encompasses the project. Koretz finally blessed it after Caruso agreed to reduce its height from 245 to 185 feet. The area’s zoning code limits buildings to a height of 45 feet. Caruso has agreed to put a half million dollars into the City of Los Angeles’s affordable housing trust fund. Also, he agreed to make 10 of the building’s 154 units available to low- or moderate-income people.

  1. But this is outside the City of WeHo. It’s not even that ‘adjacent to’. I think this kind of scrutiny should be done over the still growing list released for much larger projects IN WEHO and in locations far, far, far more congested and regular gridlock traffic.

  2. How about people live where they can afford to live. No one wants to build apartments because of rent control, so we are a city only for rich millionaires. The poor should leave and live where they can afford to live. I don’t want to live around poor people, they add nothing to my life. End rent control and apartments more affordable might be built.

  3. Only trees planted on sites like this are likely to change the toxic equation we live with. While everyone is looking for a cure for cancer, few are considering the cause.

    When my mother had surgery for breast cancer at the age of 94, the Moffit Cancer Center at USF chose her as an otherwise extremely healthy, active and articulate individual to participate in forums about possible cures. They remarked on her positive approach and her wish to not get involved in the scary details or prognostications. I accompanied her to the first meeting to which she brought a copy of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and announced she would be happy to participate if they were interested in finding and eliminating causes. They were a bit dumbstruck. She happily drove herself to 6 weeks of radiation and never looked back. If she had been able to give a copy of Silent Soring to everyone she ever met, she would have done so. BYW at the time she was still taking classes at USF and was currently studying The Global Ocean taught by Dr. J.J. BH att, Ph.D. One of his publications: HUMAN ENDEAVOR, Essence & Awakening A Call For Global Awakening is a must read.

  4. J Simmons
    Nothing IN the ground could be as toxic as the air we breathe in that neighbourhood with the many polluting cars and trucks going by endlessly. Taller buildings concentrate this pollution near ground level. Not only is the exhaust toxic in the air but also the noise, those apartments are just wooden boxes and the noise and car pollution seep easily into the living and working quarters, but builders never live in where they build so why should they care. This is the real scary story no one will talk about. AND, those police and fire sirens are horrible, the noise is horrible, lets all wear headphones to cover-up the noise but not the fumes.
    By the way, the ground pollution is known to cause the worst pollution is dry cleaners, a staple of Hollywood that has costumes all requiring dry cleaning for many decades past. PERC is the chemical that was used in dry cleaning that is really toxic, that is the chemical to check for.

    1. All gas stations (from the first day back long before any toxic, leaking or other potential or even unknown … Cigarettes once weren’t considered harmful) WILL have the entire history of tank leakage from the 50’s, maybe earlier)
    2.A car was has both the entire history of gas PLUS early highly chemical intensive care cleaning chemicals, with decades of water pushing/leaking into ground soil. Much will migrate to neighboring properties, but chemicals will remain.
    3. As a NON SCIENTIST, I am certain the mix of so many ground toxins makes WORSE Dangerous Chemicals.
    4. Complying 100% with current environmental rules, does not negate what is unknown below the surface, and how far down.

    I don’t care personally for car washes, and this is outside weho, but the REAL DANGER the site poses, and residences being planned IS TOO SCARY NOT TO BRING UP.

  6. This is the City of Los Angeles doing to WeHo residents what WeHo had done to residents up above Sunset who live in Los Angeles. City borders can become hotbeds for this kind of developer free-for-all, because adjoining properties have no political clout. In this instance, the primary abutters live in West Hollywood.

  7. How about NO density bonus, AND some affordable housing.
    B*st*rds building these things don’t even live here – they don’t care what they’re foisting on the rest of us.

  8. This site should hold far more density. We are in the middle of a massive housing crisis. If you are requesting decreased density along a major street in the heart of the city you are big part of the problem.

  9. We are becoming the Petri dish of developers overreach. As WeHo Conscience recommended the attorney on the Target project would be helpful but also a formidable Weho pushback in advocacy for its neighborhoods sufferig severe encroachment. WeHo is being squeezed into a hitter and tighter sardine can, not to mention the suffocating forces being hatched from within. Petri dish meets Blood Sport Monopoly.

  10. Caruso property: 2 stories allowed by code. Wants 16 story building.
    Stark property : 2 stories allowed by code. Wants 6 story building

    Wow, Los Angeles sure is strict forcing these poor developers to build such oversized, profit gushing buildings to squeeze into our little neighborhoods.

    Makes one wonder what Target did wrong in that project on Sunset and Western near Home Depot in Hollywood? There a judge ordered construction stopped because LA flagrantly violated the height restrictions within the city zoning code. There the city approved only 3 stories on a lot zoned for 2 stories.

    If 3 stories is illegal in a 2 story zone then surely 6 and 16 stories in a similar zone would be as well.

    Perhaps WEHO needs to hire that attorney. Clearly our small city appears to be unable to tame our giant neighbor with some injunctive relief.

    Putting such a large scale building so close to our tiny homes and streets will dwarf and destroy the character of our neighborhood and our city.

  11. This is an extremely dense project. The land is a quarter of an acre. That’s a very small footprint for 96 apartments, 5,500 square feet of retail and another 8,500 sf of restaurant space. One quarter acre = 10,890 sf. That’s just barely bigger than two “standard” 5,000 sf single-family lots. In the Norma Triangle, where I live, almost all of the lots are below 5,000 sf. My guess is that a typical single family lot in West Hollywood West isn’t too far off from 5,000 sf. Put two lots together and density rises to a whopping 96 apartments? Ugh.

    This is typical page from the developer playbook. Ask for something completely out of scale, wait for community push back then give a few concessions and end up building the project they always wanted to put there, even if it exceeds current zoning. Nine low-income units (probably very tiny to begin with) are nothing in the big picture when the reward is a 40% bonus for larger, market rate units.

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