Will the mixed-use Palm Restaurant project get an extension to begin construction? That’s the question before the Planning Commission at Thursday night’s meeting.
Normally, the first request for an extension is automatically granted, but in the case of the five-story, 42-unit Palm Restaurant project located at 9001 Santa Monica Blvd. (beside the supermarket), City Hall staffers are recommending that the request be denied.
According to planner Jennifer Alkire, the proposed new General Plan is the reason for recommending the denial. Even though the City Council has not yet adopted the General Plan, the council expressed a desire not to have residential housing along Santa Monica Boulevard between Larrabee Street and Almont Drive.
Since the area has a concentration of nightclubs, including The Abbey, The Factory and , the council wants to keep residential housing away from the area to avoid future complaints from residents about noise.
“If that’s the direction the council is going, this [project] would be in conflict with that,” said Alkire. “They’re voicing these preferences, so we’re not going to recommend something that would be in conflict with that. That’s why we’re recommending the denial of the extension.”
Under the terms of the development agreement, which the city council approved in December 2007, the developer was required to obtain all building permits within 24 months. A lawsuit filed by resident Jeanne Dobrin over the 62-foot height of the building (it was settled with an agreement of a maximum 55-feet height) resulted in an additional 12 months to get the permits.
But even with that lawsuit extension, all permits were supposed to be secured by Jan. 8, 2011. The developer is now requesting an extension to Jan. 8, 2013.
Also on the commission’s agenda is a request to add one affordable unit to a previously approved five-unit condominium building at 1040 N. Spaulding Ave.
The commission will not hear an agenda item about reducing the number of residential units from eight to seven at 1223 Larrabee St. That item is going back to staff and will be heard at a future date.