The West Hollywood City Council tonight agreed to move to Sept. 4 its consideration of an appeal by the owner of the 8500 Sunset Blvd. apartment building of a Community Development Department decision that the company was violating city regulations banning short-term rentals. But while the city continues to battle with Korman Communities over its interpretation of the city ordinance regarding such rentals, it appears other developers have been doing the same thing.
Letters dated June 12 from Daniel Mick of the city’s Code Compliance Division warn the owners of the Dylan, Huxley and Domain apartment buildings on the city’s Eastside that they appear to be violating a ban on rentals of less than one year. Such a ban was enacted by the city to prevent building owners from taking apartments off the rental market and to prevent them from unauthorized competition with hotels.
“It has come to our attention that you may be using the units on the property for a different purpose, namely, for occupancies intended to be of relatively short duration (e.g. several months),” says Mick’s letter. “This use of the property is inconsistent with Section 19.90.020, inconsistent with the development entitlements governing the property and inconsistent with the city’s long-standing goal of limiting housing in residential zones to bona fide housing.”
As part of its 403-page appeal of the city’s ban on Korman’s short-term rentals at the AKA West Hollywood buildings on 8500 Sunset Blvd., that property’s owner also has filed a document that lists 14 buildings (11 of which are in WeHo) that it says are offering to rent apartments for a term of less than 12 months. The Kings Road Apartments at 733 N. Kings Road, the La Cienega WeHo at 375 N. La Cienega Blvd., the Domain WeHo at 7141-7155 Santa Monica Blvd. and the Villa Elizabeth at 7513 Fountain Ave. all offer leases for terms of a minimum of six-months, the document says. Kings Road Apartments and Villa Elizabeth, however, are in Los Angeles. The Crescent at 1274 N. Crescent Heights Blvd. offers a lease with a seven-month minimum.
Mediterranean Village at 840 N. Larrabee St., the Ascent at 1218 N. Larrabee St., the Villa Careena at 1136 N. Larrabee St, the Villa Ester at 920 Kings Rd. and the Villa Francisca at 930 N. Palm Ave. all offer leases with a minimum term of three months according to the document. The document shows that the Angelene, which at 915 N. La Brea Ave. is outside WeHo’s city limits, offers a minimum two-month lease. And the document shows that the Huxley at 1234 N. La Brea Ave. and the Dylan at 7111-7119 Santa Monica Blvd. offer one-month minimum leases.
A recent online search of units for rent at the Avalon, the Domain, the Dylan and the Huxley, which are among the newest apartment buildings in West Hollywood, shows the Dylan now is offering units with a three-month minimum lease. A 681-square-foot one-bedroom unit on a three-month lease rents for $3,708 a month. The Huxley charges $4,901 a month for the same size unit on a three-month lease, with the rent falling to $2,601 for a 12-month lease. The Domain asks $3,845 for an 788 square-foot one-bedroom apartment with only a one year lease available. On its website, the Avalon offers a one-bedroom, one bath apartment for rent for $4,455 with a two-month lease.
Korman specializes in so-called corporate extended-stay hotels, which typically rent furnished apartments to business travelers who plan a stay longer than what is typical in a hotel. Shortly after Korman bought the 8500 Sunset Blvd. property from CIM Group, the city notified it that its plans to offer short-term corporate housing violated a city law banning such housing. In response, Korman agreed to rent out the units in one of its two buildings at 8500 Sunset as unfurnished apartments. But it has insisted that the furnished units it rents out for 31 days or more to business travelers are legal.