GWNC Swears in New Alternate Tess Paige, Approves Land Use Motions

Area 9 Board member Max Kirkham and Alternate Tess Paige, who was sworn in at Wednesday’s meeting

At Wednesday night’s meeting of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, Tess Paige,  a resident of the Dover apartments and a realtor for Keller Williams Inglewood, was sworn in as the new alternate for Area 9 – the Oakwood/Maplewood/St. Andrews neighborhood. Paige has served on the on the GWNC’s Outreach Committee since January.  She said she got involved to bring more awareness to the GWNC and the work the council does on behalf of the neighborhood.

“I look forward to bringing new ideas to the GWNC,” said Paige.

Also at last night’s meeting, as part of the monthly finance report, GWNC Treasurer Patti Carroll invited board members to visit the City’s new online portal for neighborhood councils. The Neighborhood Council Funding Dashboard tracks all the budgets and expenditures for all neighborhood councils, including Greater Wilshire’s budget and expenses to date.

In other business, the GWNC board voted without opposition to approve the recommendations of its Land Use Committee on the following projects:

3377 W. Olympic Blvd. The applicant is asking to build an eldercare facility with 146 residential units (24 for Alzheimer’s/memory care), a professional medical office, restaurant, and retail space.

The applicant is requesting a Site Plan Review for an eldercare facility with more than 50 new residential units. They also intend to remove an outdated building on Gramercy Drive. (Case # APCC-2017-569, ENV-2017-570).  The Land Use Committee voted 9-0-0 at its last meeting to recommend that the GWNC board oppose the project for various reasons, including:

  • the proposed building would tower over the adjacent single family homes
  • there is no height limit for this project
  • committee members were concerned that no notice was given to two adjacent neighbors

The committee did ask the applicants to return to the LUC, however, after doing more outreach to the neighborhood.

Tom Smith spoke on behalf of the Country Club Park Neighborhood Association at last night’s meeting, and thanked GWNC board member Frances McFall for notifying his group about the project. Smith said residents are very concerned and would like to be kept informed. In fact, several members were at the meeting Wednesday evening to urge the GWNC to oppose the project, saying it’s too high and not appropriate for the neighborhood. Smith said he and his neighbors have been very concerned that “zoning has blown up in Country Club Heights.”

As recommended by the LUC, the GWNC voted to oppose the project as currently presented by the applicant, by a tally of 15 in favor, zero opposed and one abstention.

5226 W. Melrose Avenue – The applicant is requesting a Zone Variance to allow a 370-sq. ft. spray booth within an existing auto body repair facility in the C2 zone, which is consistent with the present use. (Case# ZA-2017-2354-ZV, ENV-2017-2355-EAF. ) However, since the applicant did not appear to present the project to the LUC when they were invited to do so, the committee voted unanimously (as is its policy with no-show applicants) to recommend that the GWNC board oppose the application until presented by the applicant. And the board did so at last night’s meeting.

4749 W. Elmwood Ave. This project proposes to demolish an existing single-family dwelling and construct a new 14-unit apartment building, including 1 unit (10%) for very low-income households. (City codes encouraging affordable housing permit greater density and reduced parking requirements in exchange for reduced rent units.) (Case# CPC-2017-2121-DB, ENV-2017-2122- EAF.)

As with the item above, the developer did not appear to present the project when invited to do so by the LUC, and that body voted 9-0-0 to recommend that the GWNC oppose the project. The GWNC board voted 15-0-1 last night to oppose the project, as recommended, until presented by the applicant.

5058 W. Maplewood Ave.  Demolition of an existing single-family dwelling and construction of a new 13-unit residential apartment building with (1) very low income affordable unit. (Density bonus rules allow for an increased height and a 20 percent reduction in the set back on the west side of the building.) (DIR-2017-2437-DB, ENV-2017-2438-EAF.) The Land Use Committee had voted 9-0-0 to recommend that the board oppose the project as presented…and the board voted 14-0-2 last night to confirm that opposition.

324-326 S. St. Andrews Place. The applicant is requesting a variance from the zone’s required square footage to change the use of two existing storage rooms into two studio dwelling units, for a total of 23 dwelling units at the site.  They are also asking to change three existing guest rooms into new studio units, which would further up the total on site to 26 dwelling units. (Present number of units is 21). ZA-2017-534-ZV.

The Land Use Committee had also voted unanimously to recommend that the board oppose this request, on the grounds that the applicant had already made the changes to the building and was seeking permission after the fact. The GWNC board voted 15-0-1 last night to oppose, as recommended, the zone variance and change of use application.


About Patricia Lombard

Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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