Planning Conmission Approves Condos on Hilldale


With a 6-1 vote Thursday night, West Hollywood’s Planning Commission approved a new condominium complex on Hilldale Avenue, north of Cynthia.

Illustration of 917-929 Hilldale Ave. (Ric Abramson Architects)

Consisting of nine two-story townhouse units, the complex will be located on three parcels at 917, 921 and 927 Hilldale. Those parcels currently have a total of six dwelling units, built between 1922 and 1939,that will be demolished. Once the project is completed, the city will see a net gain of three units. 

Each of the units will have two or three bedrooms plus a study/office area, as well as individual garages and roof decks. Seven of the units will have private garden or courtyard space where the owners can plant flowers and trees directly into the ground. 

The Commission loved the project, Commissioner John Erickson calling it “well designed.”

“It takes an existing space and really brings something very new and nice to the neighborhood,” said Erickson. 

“It’s a really beautiful project. It does well in terms of incorporating into the fabric of the neighborhood,” said Commissioner Stacey Jones. “This developer has gone above and beyond to make a project that is better not bigger. We don’t see that all of the time here.”


Meanwhile Commissioner Rogerio Carvalheiro praised architect Ric Abramson’s thoughtful contemporary design, calling it “expertly designed.”

“I think the design standard here is one that all housing projects should try to achieve in the city of West Hollywood,” said Carvalheiro. 

The project received a variance to allow a front yard setback (distance from property line to the building) of just 12 feet. West Hollywood zoning laws say front setbacks should be the average of the houses on either side. While the building to the south has a 10-foot setback, the house immediately north at 931 Hilldale is set back 62 feet from the street. Without the variance, the complex would have to be set back 30 feet from the street and would have been unable to build two of its nine units. 

The Commission also agreed to modify the required rear setback from the standard 15 feet to 13 feet 6 inches.

While Thursday’s meeting lasted two hours and forty-five minutes, almost two hours of that time was consumed by a tangential discussion relating to the solar panels on the house at 931 Hilldale. City law says that a new structure cannot block the solar panels on an adjacent property. Even though the new complex is only two stories high, during the winter months, it would cast a shadow until midday on the solar panels of the one-story house (an accessory unit of the main two-story building). 

Developer Agustin Rodriguez, who is constructing the project through his ANR Development Company, has offered to pay 100% of the cost for new solar panels, ones that will be twice as strong. The owner of the 931 Hilldale house has indicated she would agree to this, but the exact details have not been worked out. 

However, if the 931 Hilldale homeowner fails to sign off on the solar remediation plan, she could prevent the new project from being built as designed. After a prolonged and tedious discussion, the Commission opted to let John Keho, the Director of the city’s Planning and Development Services Department, be the person to determine if the solar panels have been upgraded and properly installed if the two parties cannot reach a satisfactory agreement.

Commissioner Lynn Hoopingarner cast the only vote against the project. However, her vote was not against Abramson’s project. She worried the 931 homeowner was not protected by the motion as written.

“I think it was a brilliant project, I love the project,” Hoopingarner told WEHOville. “I was voting no on pushing it through with the language that didn’t protect the neighbor.”

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x