Despite requests from the developer’s representative to hold off, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council voted last night to oppose a density bonus application for an 88-unit multi-family project proposed for the 500 block of N. Wilton Place.
Attorney David Rand, speaking on behalf of developer Frost/Chaddock, asked the council to wait before taking a vote, saying he’d only found out the project was scheduled for the council meeting two days ago.
The project was first presented to the GWNC’s Land Use Committee in April. At that time, the committee voted 11-4 to request that the developers return to the LUC and/or the GWNC Board with their design responses to the committee’s concerns about street parking, landscaping, height and overall design.
In order to implement the project, the developer has asked for permission to increase the building’s height from the standard limit of 45 feet to 56 feet, under a provision of the City’s Density Bonus Ordinance. Since the City’s public comment period on the application ends on December 16, 2015, Land Use Committee Chair James Wolf presented the opposition motion last night in order to assure that the neighborhood’s concerns were incorporated in the record.
Rand assured the board that there is no city hearing on the horizon for the project and that if the GWNC would delay its vote, the developer would “wait for the neighborhood council process, and there would be no hearing before the City until the Council is done with its work.” He added that he has requested to be on the agenda for the December 22nd meeting of the GWNC Land Use Committee.
Charlie D’Atri, President of the Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association, told the Council this project falls within his neighborhood boundaries and there have been many concerns expressed by neighbors about the developer’s initial presentation to the association some months ago. D’Atri said the developer has not yet responded to those concerns, but has scheduled a meeting for tomorrow (December 10). While the LVNA has not yet voted on the project, he expressed concern about the height of the building, saying the lot has a natural rise in grade, so the requested additional height is an issue for the neighbors. In addition, he said, there are concerns about the traffic the large development would bring to neighborhood streets.
The project would involve demolition of nine existing single-family homes currently located on the project site (501, 505, 511, 515-521. 527, 531, 535, and 543 N. Wilton Place – one of which was formerly owned by CD4 Council Member David Ryu, who sold it before his run for office), and construction of 88 dwelling units (44 one-bedroom and 44 two-bedroom), including 8 very low income units. The proposed building would include four residential stories over two stories of parking (one level of parking would be partially underground), with a maximum building height of 56 feet.