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Tuesday's Scoop: Council to Consider Hayworth Development

The City Council will hold a continued public hearing regarding the construction of a luxury condominium at 1350 Hayworth Ave.

Greetings, and welcome to today's City Scoop. I hope you enjoyed your long weekend. Here's what's happening Tuesday in West Hollywood:

Main Event: City Council Meeting

After being rejected by the Planning Commision, the development slated for 1350 Hayworth Ave. is coming before Council this evening. According to the agenda, staff recommends that the Council hold a public hearing, consider all pertinent testimony and conditionally approve the project—a contemporary 17-unit luxury condominium. The meeting is taking place at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers.

Live Shows:

  • MKKM, BReal TV & Inner Circle present Scoop Deville, Young De AKA Demrick, Brevi, Young Life, Salam Wreck - Viper Room at 7:30 p.m.
  • 16 Comics - Comedy Store, Original Room at 9 p.m.
  • Hardly Dangerous, Octane Mob, XNO, Rogue Stallion - House of Blues at 9 p.m.

Also Today:

Sara Benincasa with Kevin Avery, Rob Delany and Sarah Thyre will present and sign Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom, described by Book Soup as a "hilarious memoir chronicles her attempts to forge a wonderfully weird adulthood in the midst of her lifelong struggle with agoraphobia, depression, and unruly hair." The event begins at 7 p.m.

The Forecast:

Tuesday's forecast is sunny, according to the National Weather Service. The high in West Hollywood will be near 72, reports the weather service, dropping to a low of around 57. Expect calm wind and mostly clear skies later in the day.

(Go here for more events happening today.)

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Wendy February 21, 2012 at 05:42 PM
It's good to see Luxury buildings coming to West Hollywood. They will generate a lot of money paying over $10K in yearly property taxes per unit. They are just cash machines for cash strapped cities. It's good to get the money out of the lucky few who have it. It also brings up the neighborhood.
Riley February 21, 2012 at 06:58 PM
According to Council Memeber Heilman at the meeting on Sept. 6, 2011 (viewable at Weho.org) the tax revenue was not a concern. And as Mayor Duran frequently tells us, we have lots of money and the City operates in the black. How else could we have afford $80 Million and counting on WeHo Park and then there's that $41.3 for tiny little Plummer Park. I don't think the neighbors and other citizens are concerned about it being a "luxury" building, it is just that the designed is "too massive" per John D'Amico, and is not "creative modern" per John Heilman and doesn't fit the historic neighborhood. All five council members rejected the first design on the grounds that this was not the right building for this street. It is adjacent to an historically landmarked building, the Hollywood Riviera, design by noted architect, Edward J. Fickett. The new design for 1350 looks almost exactly like the rejected design...cold, hard a ugly. Needs to go back to the drawing board and perhaps with a new architect who is not prone to building the new ding bats.
Riley February 21, 2012 at 07:15 PM
According to Council Memeber Heilman at the meeting on Sept. 6, 2011 (viewable at Weho.org) the tax revenue was not a concern. And as Mayor Duran frequently tells us, we have lots of money and the City operates in the black. How else could we have afforded $80 Million (and counting) on WeHo Park and then there's that $41.3 for tiny little Plummer Park. I don't think the neighbors and other citizens are concerned about it being a "luxury" building, it is just that the design is "too massive" per John D'Amico, and is not "creative modern" per John Heilman and doesn't fit the historic neighborhood. All five council members rejected the first design on the grounds that this was not the right building for this street. It is adjacent to an historically landmarked building, the Hollywood Riviera, designed by noted architect, Edward J. Fickett. The new design for 1350 looks almost exactly like the rejected design...cold, hard and boxy. Needs to go back to the drawing board, perhaps with a new architect who is not prone to building the new ding bats.
virginia gillick February 21, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Luxury? I love luxury and I also love history. This block has a LOT of history and although the developer has every right to build luxury units which will yield $$$ for the City via taxes, we are not hurting for money. Nonetheless...sure build luxury units, but the building should fit the neighborhood to the best of it's ability. This proposed structure will just make the neighborhood disassociated. That is not a good goal whatsoever. There are many luxury buildings in WEHO (the Milano comes to mind) that do not look like a medical building in West L.A. My opinion.
Lynn Russell February 21, 2012 at 08:03 PM
In my opinion, the architect Mr. Vanous, clearly missed the mark again. No one in this buildings tour through the commissions and council has warmed to his structure. The building does less than warm to the charming, intact streetscape composition of buildings and trees. It mocks the history of the neighborhood in a barely changed iteration. Mr. Vanous might have taken a clue from the architect of the 7914 Norton site which was rejected by Council. Similarly zoned for 4 stories, he returned with an appealing new 3 story concept in redesign inspired by the Spanish Colonial originally in place. With it's newness and potential "luxury" the street and neighborhood will remain relatively uninterrupted. Mr. Vanous could have delivered inspired, remarkable and luxury rather than perfunctory at 1350 N. Hayworth.
Chloe Ross February 21, 2012 at 08:46 PM
I will be interested to hear what the council has to say about the design 5+ years later and exactly WHY "staff" has given it a green light. It sits next to a landmarked historic building and suits the neighborhood NOT AT ALL. The company who wants to build it threatens litigation and this may be why "Staff" has caved - but it's not a good enough reason. The council was very clear how they felt about the architecture in 9/06 and since the architecture remains the same it will be interesting to hear the new spin.
Cathy February 21, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Yes, I do agree with Riley about the architecture and comments made by city council at the Sept. 6th council meeting regarding the design for 1350 N. Hayworth. Personally, I am not opposed to modern or contemporary architecture, when done right....so to speak. The redesign is still massive, over 3 stories and is not compatible with the Historic Cultural Resource, The Riviera which is JUST 5 feet north of it! I am perplexed! So, I am very interested to hear what staff has to report at tonight's council meeting.
Wendy February 21, 2012 at 11:51 PM
You know what if boils down too in the end. If you cannot afford to buy a condo or home then you are against any new development and find reasons to hate it such as Historical. You show me someone who hates a new building and I will show you someone that does not have 2 cents to rub together.
joninla February 22, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Riley - I appreciate your pointing out the actual facts about the decision process in which the City first would not approve the design based on Subjective Design Opinion. Months later the redesign that is almost identical but with a few 'not good' changes is being considered by the very same people, who now 'poof' they are in agreement the 'new design' is very desirable and fits with what the 'direction that part of the City is going" I have not seen the site or meetings. However, not because I have agreed with your past positions and opinions posted here on Patch .... not taking that my favorable shared history of opinions, I still believe with certainty your reporting is totally accurate and your subjective opinion about the design is true to anyone with eyes, for one reason, to wit: because it is literally: THE EXACT SAME SCENARIO THAT HAPPENS EACH TIME A CONDO PROJECT COMES BEFORE THE PLANNING COMMISSION. It is just hard to notice because it is over such a long period of time and most people only look at the project in their neighborhood, rather than all the projects throughout the City for 25 years now.
joninla February 22, 2012 at 02:31 AM
TO CATHY RE: THE DESIGN I was follwoing this story for a long time when it was about the tenants of the now gone apatment building (I assume it's been leveled) trying to keep their homes. At that time, I pointed out exactly your same concerns about the design of the project based on 'artists rendering' that are always better looking than the finished product. Back then and even now I say: "If it is going to be built - a done deal and number of units and sq footate and parking determined, a design of exactly same units, sq footage et al.. should be made FROM SCRATCH. The current plan is the product of year of compromies and is a final collection of just undesirable compromies put compiled in a building that be terrible for EVERYONE. For an example, TWICE the Height, but HALF THE FOOTPRINT would be better for everyone. Rather than argue that opinion, this project is right down the street from a beautiful historic building that is very tall, but has a large area of space on all sides, making the height not offensive, and allowing the lowrise apartments next door have some open green view/air from their windows. The arbitary fixed height and textbook requirments for design leads to short, squat, edge to edge designs that don't sell, are unpleaant inside for the new structure and existing apartments next door, and ruins what could be a chance for a project to be completed that pleases everyone.
joninla February 22, 2012 at 02:59 AM
As a hypothetical alternative to a condominium structure that has been approved and will be built: If the design were built like the historic tower (an exact copy, let say) and placed on the lot next to low rise apartment buildings, consider the effects as if you were living there. 1. If you were buying an expensive luxury condo, would you like the current plans, or a unit on one of the upper floors, with a view, with space between your luxury condo and the old 2 story historic (but from a completely different era and time). Or a unit/floor that has all side windows looking out at the existing historic (pink) old buildings. 2. If you were a renter in the pink old classic building, would you rather see a solid wall of a new building 5 feet outside your window. Or a part of a tall building with a tree (or maybe even trees) between your apartment and the expensive new luxury condos? Still demanding HEIGHT LIMITS, PERIOD! Look at the Directors building on the other side. It is not only unoffensive in height, but it's height and design (to look like stacks of film rolls???) but it's a landmark because the spent the time to design for height in the middle of large lot, with all the open space on the sides so that nobody gets overwhelmed by the building. A flat, restricted height, would be a awful as new the mix-use right there on Sunset - to the very edges of the property lines!
me February 22, 2012 at 04:05 AM
everyone seems to be commenting on the design....what about all of the RENTERS being forced from their HOMES and out-priced right out of the city they love all together???.....the slippery slope is back.....if you are a renter, your days in west hollywood are most certainly numbered....don't kid yourself to believe otherwise
joninla February 22, 2012 at 05:14 AM
TO ME RE: Tenants Evicted I will just point out that the number of times the City Council has declared the backbone of the citys creation and the number one focus of the city being rent control, rent stabalization and even the recent references about long term tennants getting to own their apartments ....... Would make most people (in my opinion) at least question if perhaps the city is just lying to the residents for their votes, but don't really care and won't help prevent tenants from being evicted. Why would you raise the question, unless, like everyone else we have all fallen prey to the City's mantra, but don't notice when a 'silent' individual renter gets no protection, no help and not even a public news conference to show the world the problem that even the City if WeHo is powerless to prevent???
Wendy February 22, 2012 at 06:18 AM
You know what it boils down too again. You have these lifetime tenants who have lived in the same apartment for 35 years. They pay half price rent. They are scared to death of paying market rate. They like the idea of pocketing away $700 every month. So they are going to show up to voice down anyone who wants to build anything. They impact those who want to be homeowners. They talk about preserving the neighborhood when they have not invested 1 cent while sucking out all they can of what is existing and not repatriating 1 dime to City Hall. What we have now is the ultimate form of profiteering. WeHo would be better off if we had a 50-50 split between homeowners and renters. You got the renters on Hayworth bitching about 17 condos going up because there is nothing in it for them. I hope it gets approved because the city will be taking in over $ 100-150K yearly more in property taxes. A lot of nice things could be built to serve the public if every multi residential block had 1/2 million more dollars coming into city hall. We could start with creating our own Fire and Police Departments. Right now we hire people from Lancaster-Palmdale to save our lives. None of them live around here. Not many cops really have much incentive to keep WeHo crime free when they live in Palmdale. This is the problem with rent-a-cops.
Lynn Russell February 22, 2012 at 07:35 AM
Loons have recently descended on West Hollywood. Please don't feed them.
Stephanie February 22, 2012 at 07:38 AM
FYI- the Historic Riviera is a condo building. They all pay property taxes. And you, Wendy? Renter or owner? You stated previously you were here when the red car was. Live on Hayworth? Anywhere near Hayworth? Just curious?
Cathy February 22, 2012 at 07:41 AM
Ok Wendy, so here' s the thing....the MAJORITY of those speaking out against the redesign for the 1350 N. Hayworth ARE homeowners. The Riviera is a condo not a rental building. I am a homeowner and I think that your opinion about those speaking out at council meetings is very skewed. Please do not confuse one's passion about history, architecture and overdevelopement with whatever it is you are talking about.
Stephanie February 22, 2012 at 07:49 AM
Hmmmmmm....it seems to me that the Mayor and ALL the councilmembers are or can afford to be homeowners and yet they unanimously opposed the redesign of the Hayworth project so there goes your 2 cents theory. There is good development and inappropriate development. Get your facts straight before making rash statements.
Stephanie February 22, 2012 at 08:02 AM
Los Angeles County Sheriffs have been doing a great job protecting people in this 1.9 sq miles years and years before it was ever West Hollywood. Cops and Firefighters are professionals and don't need "incentives" to keep people safe. I find your insults about our public servants offensive.
joninla February 22, 2012 at 10:38 AM
FOR ANYONE WHO IS ON THE TOPIC OF THE DESIGN AND NOT ON THE FUTILE EFFORT TO HAVE RATIONAL DISCOURSE WITH SOMEONE OBVIOUSLY NOT RATIONAL. AS TO DESIGN, The point I was trying to throw out to encourage the thought about a radically different design which the steet itself gives examples both new and old that taller with large setbaks and space on all sides meets everyones best interests. I would compare the hypothetical choices of the current building with one like the old historic tower. It would be less offensive to everyone, and with a little effort on deigin, it could be a modern landmark which the future will look at and say, why did they build all those ugly, squat condos when a better approach is so obvious.
joninla February 22, 2012 at 10:48 AM
Chloe - I don't think the council will care in 5 years. They don't even care now. Well that's not accurate. They don't care about anything but getting their multi million dollar projects built. With so many hearingd on tiny projects, what about the big/massive ones. Where we meetings for carls jr and jons that raisrd a single question about either of those designs. And of course plummer park. The speakers may not mind but the supposedly prevented from speaking council did manage to be rude & offensive as he called "The Ladies of The Park" I thought his dismmissive rudeness was enough of a message, but to say outrigjt the were wasting their time sounded like doomsday for the park.
Geoffrey Buck February 22, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Last night I heard the city council listen to the concerns of the citizens opposed to the Hayworth project and I heard the call for more public input for new developments. I think this is a welcome step especially in light of the plans for the new automated parking structure and for Plummer Park.
joninla February 22, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Geoffrey - From you description & opinion I would ordinarily agree it looks like change. However there has been such a history of intense efforts to keep residents out of the planning process. This is a private development, and as nice as it would be to have residents input taken into the design, the developer has one concern now, to sell the units and get as much as they can for each one. it is really a self correcting system where the developer wants the best and most attractive building that will attract buyers. But to infer that means the City will therefore change it ongoing efforts to destroy plummer park, a public property project with a basic plan so destructive that any 'compromise' will still be a plan that will permanently destroy the park for an underground parking garage nobody asked for and everyone does not want. I didn't see the meeting, but it sounds like the councils same old bait and swirch. Keep the residents focus on other issues when $41million of public money for a public city made preoject IS ALL THAT SHOULD BE ON THE TABLE FOR DISCUSSION AND CHANGES. This other stuff is important, but trivial compared to the patk destruction.
Lynn Russell February 23, 2012 at 06:17 AM
Someone must have slipped some LSD to the loons. They are getting mighty delusional.

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