Echo Park developer comes back for seconds

10 homes proposed for Douglas and Montana Streets/Rendering from Planet Home Living

View Douglas Street Developments in a larger map

The same developer that is working on a 15- home project in the far north end of Elysian Heights is now seeking to build an additional 17 homes on the eastern edge of Echo Park on Douglas Street.  Planet Home Living  plans to build the homes on two separate lots on a hill overlooking Sunset Boulevard.  The Irvine-based developer intends to build 10 homes – each three stories high with roof top decks – on an empty lot at the corner of Douglas and Montana streets and an additional seven homes higher up the hill on the site where four vacant bungalows are now located, according to documents presented at a recent meeting of the Echo Park neighborhood council’s planning committee.

Planet Home has run into neighborhood opposition on its current project in Elysian Heights, where the developer recently began to grade a three-acre parcel near Allesandro and El Moran Street.

Jose Sigala, President of the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council, said the committee took no position on the Douglas Street projects, deferring the item until next month to gather reaction from neighbors on the steep hillside, which is packed with a combination of small Craftsman-style bungalows and large apartment buildings.  “I plan on walking door to door to solicit input and invite them to comment on the developments,” Sigala said.

The Douglas Street homes, which would rise 30 feet in height contain about 2,000-square-feet of space,  would be built under the city’s small  small lot ordinance, which permits property owners to carve up lots into smaller pieces to allow for additional development.  Planet Home is taking advantage of the small-lot ordinance to build its Elysian Heights property while a separate developer is proposing to use the same ordinance to build approximately 18 Echo Park homes near Preston Avenue and Baxter Street.


  1. Sounds like the same developer that lacks the capital to build all of the proposed residences in Elysian Park….and instead is building “a model” to generate interest. Heavy sigh.

  2. The drawings look great

  3. Just walked by both these properties yesterday afternoon wondering when they were going to be finally developed. They both are dead zones in the neighborhood; weedy, trash filled, chain link-fenced nastiness. Maybe that is the genius of developers, own something and let it degrade the neighborhood so when they propose their project, it sounds better than what exists.

    • Exactly, or propose the worst (exterior, excessive small lot division homes, etc.) and barter down to what you wanted in the first place.

      • just went through that at a neighborhood meeting last night.

        “It’s better than what we could do” is not how to approach people in a neighborly fashion.

  4. If Mitch O’Farrell was councilmember, the massacre of the Semi-Tropic Spiritualists Tract would have never occurred. We need you, Mitch, and we need you now!!!!!

  5. another stack of storage boxes

  6. Word to the neighbors – if there are ANY discretionary actions involved (there should be, if it’s a small lot subdivision) – scrutinize EVERY detail with each new level of public review – be sure what gets approved is what is being built. Do not get caught up in the design elements (pretty facades and concept drawings) that are not land use elements.

    My experience with this developer (since Sept 2011) shows they know how to get around almost any rule.

    Small lot subdivision was never intended for Hillside properties. It fails to address the local issues of parking, trashcan placement/storage and private roads/driveways. Paying for upkeep of a private road or driveway is not a “fee simple” proposition when there are more than 2 homes involved.

    How many of those bungalows that they’re replacing are anywhere near 2000 sq ft each?

  7. Several of us are drafting a letter to the city asking the developer be required to install fire hydrants on Montana, Douglass and Elysian Park Drive. If you would like to see the letter and add your name, please contact Tamaroland@att.net by Jan 20th to be included.
    Thank you,
    Tamar Halpern

  8. Great design. Any new development that cleans up Echo Park is a good thing.

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