Back in June of this year, the Jane Club, a new organization offering workspace, events, personal services and childcare for entertainment industry professionals, opened in a residence at 236 S. Larchmont Blvd. But even before it launched, neighbors began objecting to the operation of the business at a residentially-zoned property. Later in June, however, Jane Club representatives told the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council’s Land Use Committee, which was looking into the possibly illegal property use, that the organization was searching for a new location and hoped to move by September of this year.
In the last few weeks, however, neighbors have reported disturbances and parking issues from at least two nighttime events at the Club, on October 9 and October 18. The Buzz has also received a flier announcing yet another event scheduled for this Friday, November 2. And neighbors remain upset about the activity.
Throughout the year, a number of complaints about the ongoing business use of the property have been submitted to the Department of Building and Safety…but most have been closed with either no findings or referrals to other departments, with no subsequent actions so far. On September 17, however, a report of “Miscellaneous Complaints” did result in a citation and Order to Comply for an over-height fence, as well as several unspecified “HPOZ Violations.”
According to Lauren Alba, Public Relations Specialist in the Department of City Planning, the violations were:
- Per Section 1.3 of the Windsor Square Preservation Plan, the stuccoing of the wainscot and trim material on the front facade required prior HPOZ review and approval.
- Per Section 1.4 of the Windsor Square Preservation Plan, the following work was done on the property and required prior HPOZ review and approval:
- (1) changing the footprint of the pathway in the front yard;
- (2) changing most of the front yard and parkway from live plant material to gravel or decomposed granite (considered hardscape); and
- (3) adding concrete steps from the sidewalk.
While these items are physical in nature and not directly related to the business use of the residential property, Alba also noted that they will trigger an opportunity for public comments.
“Per the City’s HPOZ Ordinance (LAMC 12.20.3.I), a public hearing is not required,” Alba told the Buzz. “However, a public meeting is required. At this meeting, the proposed correction of the code enforcement conditions will be presented to the Windsor Square HPOZ Board. The Board can decide to approve the work if they find that it conforms to the guidelines of the Windsor Square Preservation Plan or deny the work if they find that it does not conform with the Plan’s guidelines. ”
While no date for that meeting has been set yet, neighbor Jennifer Rissier shared a response she received from City Council Member David Ryu’s Senior Planner, Emma Howard, who said she doesn’t expect the HPOZ meeting to happen until “after the holidays.”
Meanwhile, Ryu’s Communications Deputy, Mark Pampanin, told the Buzz that the Council Office is also now trying to work with the property owners, who lease the building to the Jane Club, to resolve the situation. Pampanin said, “We are aware of the continued events at the property and are making sure Building & Safety is aware as well.”