No resolution has been reached in a West Hollywood church’s lawsuit against the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation and a Beverly Hills developer.
After a status conference meeting last month, Mark Kawa, an attorney representing the First Baptist Church of Beverly Hills, said the church is “still in discussions” regarding its suit against the WHCHC and developer David Aghaei of Oak Road Capital.
According to the lawsuit filed by the church at 9025 Cynthia St. in West Hollywood, when the church sold three parcels of land at 910-916 N. Wetherly Drive in 2017 to Aghaei for the development of luxury condominiums, the church was promised two units and 18 to 20 parking spaces in addition to the $1.5 million sale price. However, Aghaei, in 2019, sold the land to the WHCHC for the Wetherly Palms affordable housing project for $2.65 million.
“It’s the church’s belief and contention that the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation cannot satisfy that obligation [to provide luxury condominiums] because they are not in the business of building luxury condos,” Kawa told the Park Labrea News and Beverly Press last month. “They are in the business of building affordable housing. We do not believe that West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation, whether their intentions are honorable or otherwise, is going to be able to perform the obligations that they’re required to perform.”
The WHCHC declined to comment, with Sam Borelli, the WHCHC’s director of external affairs, noting that “we remain focused on our mission of building homes and providing services that move community members from insecurity to stability.”
Aghaei, who declined to comment, served as a West Hollywood Planning Commissioner until 2018, and if he had been a commissioner when a project related to this property went before the commission, he would have had to recuse himself.
Kawa said the church “[doesn’t] know yet” if there is any connection between Aghaei’s role on the Planning Commission and the sale of the property to the WHCHC, which happened after he left the commission.
“We have yet to undertake extensive discovery on that issue,” Kawa said.
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