Tuesday April 2nd meeting: Have thoughts on proposed 8-story building on Westbourne?

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Residents of West Hollywood are being invited to a neighborhood meeting to discuss a new housing development proposed for 833 Westbourne Drive. The meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, April 2, 2024, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., will take place via teleconference, reflecting ongoing efforts to engage the community in development discussions amidst the complexities of urban planning and housing needs.

The proposed project, spearheaded by developer Will Kaufman, aims to introduce an eight-story, multi-family residential building to the heart of West Hollywood, known locally as WeHo. This ambitious project would feature 35 apartments, including seven units designated as affordable housing, above a level of subterranean parking with 18 spaces.

However, the project has stirred controversy within the community due to its request for entitlement as a “Builders Remedy Project.” This designation allows developers to bypass local zoning laws under certain conditions, aimed at addressing the state’s housing crisis. Kaufman’s proposal notably seeks exceptions from the city’s General Plan and Zoning Ordinance, including permissions to exceed established height limits and base density regulations.

To make way for the new construction, three existing buildings would be demolished. This aspect of the project raises additional concerns among residents and preservationists who fear the loss of WeHo’s architectural heritage and community character.

City Council and local housing advocates are paying close attention to the development, given its potential implications for WeHo’s housing landscape. While some see it as a necessary step towards addressing the urgent need for more housing, particularly affordable units, others worry about the precedent it may set for future developments.

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Tuesday’s meeting presents a critical opportunity for community members to learn more about the project, voice their opinions, and ask questions directly to Kaufman and his team. Participants are encouraged to join the teleconference through the provided Zoom link, with the meeting ID 885 9977 1396 and passcode 149309.

For more information about the project or to participate in the upcoming meeting, residents can contact Will Kaufman at [email protected] or by phone at 818-851-4737.

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Westmount Dr. Resident
Westmount Dr. Resident
21 days ago

Concerns about ‘historic’ character don’t strike me as valid. The existing property is terribly maintained and was likely a very modest build when it was new (I’m being generous). The Tri-West area is very heterogenous architecturally, and building has clearly happened at a consistent rate, so there is no overall style or type that would contribute to an overall character to preserve. Like the Huntley project, I expect the builder’s remedy application is on opening gambit to get something ultimately approved that is over 2 stories (which I’m assuming is the current limit, given recent projects). A 3 or 4… Read more »

kenton
kenton
20 days ago

Too tall and not in synch with the buildings in the adjoining area. Not to mention TACKY.

TheRealZam
22 days ago

I’m very much pro development and density. I’m also for non automotive transportation alternatives, but 18 parking spaces for 35 units? Even if they’re all studios and 1 br, there should be at least twice the parking.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
22 days ago
Reply to  TheRealZam

Agreed; but it is mind boggling that our Community Development staff, which was aware of the consequences of not submitting our updated General Plan Housing element to Sacramento on time, would result in developers having access to the “Builder’s Remedy”. Instead the City Council was allowed to draw out the process as if there would be no consequences. This was incompetence on a monumental scale.

Andrew Solomon
Andrew Solomon
21 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

No one knew about Builder’s Remedy back in 2021 when we were going back and forth on our housing element. It was a novel concept, based mostly off a tweet from Chris Elmendorf. It had never been successfully applied in practice until later that year or the following year when Dave Rand popularized it. Staff and council didn’t know the tsunami they were creating.

lexi
lexi
21 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Solomon

the going back and forth continued through to Feb/23. Jun/22 there was a proposed builder’s remedy project filed in LA. Yes, they should have know about Builder’s Remedy at least by then. Consultants, experts and a city attorney who specializes in that field.

Andrew Solomon
Andrew Solomon
21 days ago
Reply to  lexi

Curious, what was the first builder’s remedy project filed in LA? To my knowledge, the link below was the first public reporting on a builders remedy project – Santa Monica Dec 12, 2022. Happy to stand corrected though if there were earlier projects.

https://therealdeal.com/la/2022/12/12/wsc-files-first-full-builders-remedy-application-in-santa-monica/

Lexi
Lexi
19 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Solomon

Your link refers to full applications. Pre-applications were filed months earlier in SM and were publicly reported at that time.

lexi
lexi
19 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Solomon

there are a number of builder’s remedy projects filed before, and reported on, prior to the Santa Monica ones. Here are a couple examples in Redondo Beach – Jul/22 and Aug/22 – both reported on… https://la.urbanize.city/post/developer-proposes-2300-homes-offices-and-more-aes-site-redondo-beach

Jules
Jules
20 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Solomon

The developers seemed to have known. Odd that the City Council did not.

lexi
lexi
21 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

so true – the incompetence is startling…

Robert Steloff
16 days ago
Reply to  lexi

💯 Lexi

Robert Steloff
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Incompetence, GROSS NEGLECT, utter stupidity on all accounts!

Todd
Todd
23 days ago

Yikes, a few points of concern here, not the least of which is 35 units and 18 parking spaces? Where are all those residents going to park? This seems like it wasn’t well thought out.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
23 days ago

Once again, we see the typical Wehoan hypocrisy. They complain daily about the need for housing, and when a developer is crazy enough to want to build here and deal with our often insane City Council and selfish Nimby residents, everyone is against it. The mentality is “I’m already here, I don’t want anyone else here”, as many Trumper’s have for new immigrants. You people ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

lexi
lexi
21 days ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

no one is complaining about a lack of market rate units…! this project demos 3 lower priced units to accommodate 7 affordable units – which is net 4 affordable units… and 31 market price – the developer wins $$$

Robert Steloff
16 days ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

You ought to be ashamed of yourself for not knowing about the repercussions of what Builders Remedy is about and what it will do to every given neighborhood! This has NOTHING to do with affordable housing and nothing to do with NIMBYISM my friend, this has EVERYTHING to do with greedy money grabbing developers building excessively beyond that of what was zoned due to a loophole exposed as a result of city council’s failure to submit our housing element timely, PERIOD!! Read up, get the facts straight, we want ‘affordable’ housing, but we don’t want an 8 story Tower of… Read more »

JF1
JF1
23 days ago

If I lived in that neighborhood I would be furious at our city council for failing to do what they had to to avoid the situation. Very sad, will destroy the character of the neighborhood.

AmelieRuthven
AmelieRuthven
23 days ago

sad

Uron
Uron
24 days ago

A certain number of neighborhood meetings are required. Nothing more than a city mandated masturbation exercise.

Had Enough
Had Enough
24 days ago

Waste of time. City doesn’t care. It’s all about $$$. Now I have a better understanding why Jon Holub jumped ship, quit the City and went to Santa Monica.

Morty
Morty
24 days ago

This building doesn’t offend me as much as the Huntley development. This is located close to Santa Monica Blvd and Westbourne in that location is a wide street. The neighboring buildings are also old apartment buildings which are not very attractive. It’s also a lower density building. I believe the Huntley project calls for 50 units.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
24 days ago

First, can we please start referring to us as residents and not merely by some noveau phrase community member? This project has all the urban planning charm (neglect) of Houston and Phoenix wrapped in a Manhattan mind-set of limited parking. That works in Manhattan, and thank God we are not Houston or Phoenix. Bottom line is that this overbuild represents what appears to be the thinking of some that West Hollywood needs to shoulder an inordinate responsibility for a state-wide, indeed nation-wide housing crisis. We are doing a damned fine job in our 1.9 square miles and this behemoth must… Read more »

Bastian
Bastian
24 days ago

These meetings are useless. Council is union puppets. United Here will bring 30 hotel works and interns with their chat gpt generated scripts to say how this will be great for the city they’d like to move to their multigenerational family into those 7 affordable units so they don’t have to drive an hour.

A. Lee WALKUP
A. Lee WALKUP
24 days ago

Once again the proposal presumes that few dwellers will have a motor vehicle or two. When parking needs are deliberately denied, to the streets residents’ vehicles are dumped; over-filled streets get more contestants for the parking lotto. City Council has admitted their hands have been tied to provide adequate dwelling sizes and available streets since the Legislature has mandated sub-adequate units and choked streets over-filled with un-garaged, parked cars. Two cities of similar size: B.H. Is mandated to provide 4 dwelling units; WeHo is mandated to provide 4,000 units! The worst is yet to come if we cannot regain control… Read more »

Robert Switzer
Robert Switzer
23 days ago
Reply to  A. Lee WALKUP

The correct number of dwelling units that Beverly Hills is mandated by the state to provide is actually 3,104, not four.

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