The West Hollywood City Council on Monday postponed making a decision on a controversial development at 8899 Beverly Blvd., and asked the developer to come back to the council at a later date with changes that may make the project more compatible with the surrounding community.
The project, known as 8899 Beverly, is proposed by Beverly Blvd. Associates LP, and seeks to renovate an existing 10-story office building at the site. Plans call for 54 condominiums and 17 affordable housing units to be located in the existing tower and on an adjacent property to the rear, as well as 10 single-family residences that would border Rosewood Avenue. Ground level retail and restaurant space would also be incorporated into the project.
The city’s planning staff and planning commission had previously recommended that the project be denied. The city council asked for adjustments, but did not call for a complete revision of the plan, which would have required it to go back before the planning commission. The matter was continued to a date to be determined.
West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico said he has concerns about the size and scope of the project. The city’s planning staff did not recommend the project because of the building’s height, which is much taller than what would now be allowed under the city’s general plan for the area. The building was built in 1962, prior to West Hollywood’s incorporation. The city’s general plan only allows for low-rise buildings of a couple of levels in height in the neighborhood.
“The staff and planning commission did not recommend approval, and that was a strong indication that this was not the right project,” D’Amico said.
Controversy surfaced over the project in August, when it was made public that the developer planned to deny residents of the project’s affordable housing units access to a pool designated for the owners of condominiums in the building. The developer also planned to create a separate entrance and exit. They removed the conditions a few days before a planning commission meeting on Aug. 7, and presented an amended version of the plans that gave all residents access to the pool and removed the separate entrance and exit doors.
The city council requested that the developer continue to work with the community, and asked that revisions to the plan be made in conjunction with the city’s planning staff. West Hollywood public information officer Joshua Schare said the city is also seeking more information about public benefits the developer may provide.
A representative of the developer declined to comment on the postponement, but said the next step would be to continue working with the community.
D’Amico said he is optimistic a suitable project could be built at the site, and added that he looks forward to seeing changes that will make it more compatible with the neighborhood.
“I think we all want to see this building adjusted,” D’Amico added. “I think eventually we will get there.”
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