The agenda at this month’s Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council‘s Land Use Committee meeting, held last night at Marlborough School, was much lighter than usual, but that sparseness provided more than ample time to review the two projects that were presented.
CUB Renewal at 5279 W. Olympic Blvd.
The first of this month’s project reviews was the renewal of the conditional use permit to allow the sale and dispensing of beer and wine for off-site consumption at the 7-Eleven store at 5279 W. Olympic Blvd. (NE corner of Olympic and La Brea). According to project representative Michael Coffman, no changes in operation are being requested, and no construction or physical changes are planned as part of the renewal process (the building was previously remodeled as part of 7-Eleven’s original permitting process several years ago). During the discussion, committee members had few questions, but did request that the project representatives meet with the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Asociation for more local input before returning to the LUC for a definitive vote. No city hearing date on the application has been scheduled yet, so the committee took an initial vote to oppose the project as presented (a common action when committee members feel more information is necessary before a final vote can be taken), and encouraged the representatives to return to a future meeting after they speak with the neighborhood association.
TOC Apartment Project at 726-732 S. Wilton Pl.
The second project discussed last night was a new 25-unit apartment building proposed for 726-732 S. Wilton Place, being developed under the city’s Transit Oriented Communities guidelines. The guidelines provide certain kinds of construction bonuses for projects near major transit corridors, in exchange for the inclusion of a certain number of units reserved for low income tenants. In this case, there will be three Very Low Income units provided in exchange for a height increase to 61 feet, and a reduction in the required side yard setback.
The building, as currently proposed, will be six stories tall, containing 20 “British-style flats” of 1-3 bedrooms, along with 5 “micro units”— a configuration, said Proper Development Inc. founder and CEO Daniel Pourbaba, that is intended to provide a wide variety of price points for future renters. The average unit size will be about 1.400 square feet.
In addition, the building will include 22 automotive parking spaces (15 standard size, 6 compact, and one accessible), 26 long-term bike parking spaces (attached to a wall in the roofed garage) and 3 short-term bike parking spaces (in front of the building, not in a roofed area).
According to Pouraba, the inspiration for the building’s design (by Bittoni Architects, which also designed the new Common co-living building just a block east on Melrose) was the work of famed modernist architect Irving Gill. According to the project’s pitch documents, “As the building changes in proportions and shapes through cutouts of mass and cubes, the projects give dynamic experiences and views to visitors while it maintains its pure minimal aesthetic.” Construction materials will include smooth white stucco, wood panels, black metal panels and while metal railings.
This was the first time the project has been presented to the Land Use Committee, and during the discussion members praised the general design, but requested a more detailed landscaping plan, as well as some more extensive outreach to the surrounding community. (Pouraba said adjacent neighbors – who have been frustrated with squatters, graffiti and other illicit activity at the vacant building currently on the site – have expressed gratitude that anything new will be built there soon…but he also acknowledged that he has not yet reached out to more distant neighbors in the area.) Pending that further information, the committee voted unanimously to oppose the project as currently presented, and encouraged the developers to return for further discussion and a more definitive vote when they can provide the requested landscaping and outreach information.
The next meeting of the GWNC Land Use Committee will be held on Tuesday, August 27, 6:30 p.m. at Marlborough School, 250 S. Rossmore Ave., and the next meeting of the GWNC’s full board will be held on Wednesday, August 14, 7:00 p.m. at the Ebell of Los Angeles, 743 S. Lucerne Blvd.