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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Silver Lake pushes back against Sunset Junction development

Renderings from Frost/Chaddock

The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council tonight voted against a plan to build a trio of large apartment buildings with about 300 units, a proposal that has stirred up concern and anger over the additional congestion, parking shortages and change the project would bring to Sunset Junction. The council agreed to remain open to any new proposal from developer Frost/Chaddock but it was not clear how willing the firm would be reduce the size and mass of the four-story buildings. It was clear, however, that the vast majority of the overflow crowd gathered tonight did not like what they saw.

“I am really upset about this monster that you are planning on putting here,” said restaurant and property owner Gareth Kantner, whose Mediterranean-style shopping complex sits across two of the proposed buildings.   “We need to sit down with the architects … and revise this.”

The new buildings would rise within three blocks of each other on or near Sunset Boulevard.  Two of the properties would rise across the street from each other on the site of the 4100 Bar and the site of  Santa Monica Boulevard storefronts that were demolished last summer. In addition,  the vacant Sunset Pacific Motel on Sunset Boulevard and Bates Avenue would also be demolished to make way for a third, new apartment building.

Despite criticism of the building sizes and scale, Matthew P. Levy, vice president of acquisitions and development at Frost/Chaddock, defended the properties as “boutique buildings” that would bring new rental  housing – including some low-priced affordable units – for singles and couples. He also said the new buildings, which could include ground floor stores and restaurants, would help continue the revival of the neighborhood. “What’s missing is an anchor – and that’s residential [development].”

Levy said that much of what his firm is proposing does not need special city approval but Frost/Chaddock is applying for density bonuses available under state Senate Bill 1818, which allows developers to build larger projects than normally allowed if they provide affordable housing.

While many in the audience welcomed affordable units,  the vast majority of the apartments would be rented at market rates, which Levy estimated could approach $2,000 a month for a one-bedroom unit. Several longtime residents also expressed the sentiment that developers like Frost/Chaddock were cashing in on Silver Lake’s cachet at the expense of existing residents and Sunset Junction’s funky ambiance and history.

“We need something that real people who are here can afford,” said a woman named Dorit, instead of attracting people from Santa Monica and Newport Beach who are  “trying to be all hip and cool and move to Silver Lake and destroy what ever it is we have here.”

Levy said there is no timetable to start construction and the project is still subject to city review and the completion of an environmental impact report. The public has until April 26 to comment on what kinds of issues that report should take into account.  Click here to view a Silver Lake Neighborhood Council agenda with information about the environmental impact report and how to submit a comment.

The neighborhood council serves as an advisory body and has no authority to force the developer to change their plans. The motion adopted 11-0 by the council’s Governing Board reads:

The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council hereby expresses its strong opposition to the current versions and vision of these three projects, based on: overwhelming problems associated with the size, density and visual appearance of these proposed developments;  the massive deviation from the visual character and architectural legacy of Silver Lake;  the lack of information about landscaping;  the manner in which these projects as proposed would devastate the Sunset Junction neighborhood’s already severely limited parking;  the need for better delineated linkages with public transportation as well as possible creation of new transportation options (such as a DASH line); harsh questions about the economic impact of these projects on the community;  the lack of sufficient governing mechanics limiting the impact of noise, dust, pollution and traffic associated with the construction of those projects*,  the manner in which the views of current Silver Lake residents from their homes will be destroyed; and the significant questions about the credibility of the developer. The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council will welcome and objectively consider revised versions of these proposals.
This motion, as approve by the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council at its special April 24, 2012 governing board meeting, will be submitted, along with the minutes of that very same governing board meeting, to any appropriate planning or regulatory body and governmental entity responsible for decision-making regarding this matter.
*The motion should include, at this place in the motion denoted by an asterisk, references to the specific city code and AQMD regulations, etc., that were mentioned in the course of the meeting due to their pertinence to regulating noise, dust and pollution. The person who was taking notes at the meeting will fill in, as a parenthetical aside, the appropriate citations.



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91 comments

  1. so sad to see a youth counter cultural hub like AGLAGO go… this is truly going to gut the area of an important gathering spot for parties, artists, sustainable living and gardening collective.

  2. “Several longtime residents also expressed the sentiments that developers like Frost/Chaddock were cashing in on the Silver Lake’s cachet at the expense of existing residents and Sunset Junction’s funky ambiance and history.”

    “funky?”

    Silverlake is not funky. It’s way too expensive to be funky. Funky Silverlake died in the ’90s. It’s not bohemian, it’s not “hood” and it’s no longer accessible to actual artists or poor people or non-Yuppie queers (or any assemblage of the previous categories) unless they’re taking advantage of rent control.

    “Longtime residents” often include newer, home-owning gentrifiers (the ones who attend neighborhood meetings, the ones who worry that their precious newborns will be okay at the “right” school). Their complaints about realtors taking advantage of SL’s “cachet” seem a little, Hey, Kettle? It’s Pot. You’re black.

    Sounds like the phrase “affordable housing” has injected some Section 8 project phobia into the locals, visions of bus-riding po’ folk cutting line at the gelato joint and buying up all the mid-century modern daybeds.

    • Hi Bird, I would be very happy if all 3 buildings were section 8! I don’t know if I am one of the people you dissed or not, does being a homeowner in Sunset Junction since 1997, who sends her kid to the local schools make one or not? Most of the people who live here are low income, stuffed many families to a small apartment. (Even most of the long time homeowners are working class). if we are going to get this development, why not get teh development that the community needs?

      • i agree with Bird, funky has been long gone .
        People in brand new luxury cars and over 600,000 dollar homes is far from funky , puhleeeeezzeee.

    • It is NOT Section 8! It is NOT “low-income” housing! It is “affordable” housing. That means, according to the city, $1,600 a month or more for a measly one-bedroom unit (and certainly the one at the bottom floor that they really couldn’t get anymore for anyway but will pretend they could) — not the least bit affordable for most people. The city’s ideas of “affordable” is not the least bit realistic.

      For the city to give a density bonus for such overpriced housing units by calling them “affordable” is criminal.

  3. I hate to say it, but those are some nice looking apartment buildings. Too bad I pay $1500 a month rent and live in a remodeled garage. Thanks, neighbors.

    • I don’t believe for a second that those are drawings of the real thing. Those are not drawings of buildings that could possibly hold 100 or more units! A wee but slight of hand going on with those drawings.

  4. More public spaces…now THAT is what we really need! Let’s stop the population density. More public space.

    • Building more housing brings in more tax dollars. That’s all it’s about. Ever. Cities can’t ever get enough money. The more they get, the more they get to spend.

  5. I live within two blocks of any one of these potential developments. Personally, I am only in favor of residential development of Site 3, It’s clear that there will never be a resurrection of the Bates motel and it would be good use of an eyesore property if it can’t be a new hotel. The other two sites seem way better suited to commercial space only, especially the smallest Site 1. Site 2 is a pretty big lot considering this will include development of the long vacant architectural salvage lot. But still, can’t imagine this already congested community needing so much more housing and most people don’t move to this neighborhood looking to live in that style of building anyway. This isn’t Irvine. There are all kinds of businesses and services that would make so much more sense here instead of giant 100-unit apt buildings.

  6. Wunderkind Nicht

    I’m with Ted! ^^

  7. was at the meeting

    Hi Bird. You’ve got us all wrong. I think we want the same thing — awesome places for ourselves and our friends to live. This project won’t give us that. Opinion was that the prices are too high and not low-income friendly enough, the building is in a style out of character with the neighborhood, provides retail opportunities geared towards franchise establishments, and will increase traffic, among many others.

  8. Oh, right “Bird” — looks like someone from Frost/Chaddock knows how to use a computer —

    You’ve clearly never been to Silver Lake b/c there are tons of “Section 8’s” wandering the streets —

    AND

    Everyone knows that the “Affordable Housing” ruse is a canard, and none of the Affordable housing that is put in is actually “affordable” to anyone other than Westsiders.

    But let’s face it folks, we’re done for.

    Anyone who doesn’t understand the cultural differences bewtween Silver Lake/Echo Park and the WeHo/SaMo crowd doesn’t understand Los Angeles. Developers are going to turn this whole city, with each of its quirky individual neighborhoods into the same generic mixed use development over and over again, constructed with “cost-effective” techniques that will steamroll the unique qualities that differentiate one neighborhood from another.

    This is not a game of increasing the tax base and creating short term construction jobs, this is the cultural identity of a city being trashed.

    So long, Silver Lake, Good bye L.A!

  9. I’m stuck at the Mediterranean shopping complex… Where is that??

  10. FYI, including “affordable housing” within the development could mean as few as 2-3 units. Don’t be fooled by the inclusion of “affordable housing.”

    • they are talking less then 20 affordable units for all 3 projects combinded. and by affordable, they mean like $1600 per month and they will NOT be taking section 8 (the developer told me that in another meeting, months ago)

      • I counted 25 “very low income” units on the PDF linked above in the article, and shouldn’t those be priced more in the range of $500-800 if they expect the city to grant a density bonus?

  11. Silver lake should just build a large wall around their “community” where they can keep all “outsiders” at bay. That stubborn neighborhood council is housed by a bunch of burned out, unhappy people that resist any change to their landscape simply because it gives them something to do. Wake up Silver Lame, you’re just not as cool as you think you are.

    • Actually, you have it opposite. That neighborhood council nearly always approves oversized, bad developments. But this one is so outrageous, and with the massive outpouring against it, that it has the council voting differently for once.

      You speak as if all development is being nixed here. Absolutely not, it is overrunning the place, lots of big developments going in. This one is just so far and away beyond the pale.

    • Well, the haters can stay out then.

    • And I’ll agree with Gene and say “just the opposite” as well but for different reasons. The Neighborhood Council is made up of volunteers who spend countless hours of their own time to make our community better. Having attended several Council meetings, they appear the opposite of “burned out” and “unhappy” but rather energetic people who love and are happy about their community!

    • so are you saying that you actually like 200 unit megalith apartment complexes !?!!??
      have you seen a 50 unit apartment complex lately?
      do you have ANY IDEA how massive 200 units are !?!!???

  12. Ted, public space and density go hand in hand. People with personal parks also called backyards have far less of a need for a shared park than the people that would be living in this development.

  13. Some residential development is good but there are way too many units in this project. It will clearly have a huge impact on the look of the junction as well as congestion.

    • Wunderkind Nicht

      you raise an interesting point. the look of the junction. do we like it now, flanked by the el pollo loco, circus of books, and jiffy lube? is that the “quirky” we wanna keep? that probably needs to change somehow. some residential is probably a better option.

      • You know, there is nothing about Circus Books or El Pollo Loco that is lesser than any other places here. In fact, one of my friends from West Hollywood loves to come here simply to go to that Pollo Loco, and it is the only thing he talks about in Sunset Junction.

        Circus Book in particular, but even Pollo Loco don’t look any worse than the other places — Pollo Loco stands out only because it is separated from the other buildings rather than one of a line of shops. But frankly, it has better food at better prices than most of the ever higher priced places here. I recall when Pollo Loco was THE hot, trendy spot to eat and what everyone was talking about.

        You simply prefer trendier places where you presumably can feel more hip. But if you cross the street to some place like Intelligentsia, you simply will be going to a different chain operation. And most of the other restaurants are simply going to be emptying your pocket a lot faster.

        None of the places you mention go so drastically against the scale of this neighborhood.

        • Wunderkind Nicht

          no. i don’t believe silver lake is really that hip or that going to a certain coffee shop enhances anyone’s image. i prefer the el pollo loco at fletcher and san fernando. you should turn your west hollywood friends on to the del taco just a few blocks east. just really trying to figure out what ‘quirky’ ‘funky’ ‘different’ thing ‘it’ is that everyone talks of protecting. el pollo loco it is then.

  14. In terms of the buildings “ruining the character of the neighborhood,” I think character is made up by the people who live here. An artist is an artist is an artist. Silver Lake is not going to become an Irvine as long as the people who live here dont want it to be an Irvine. And the people who live in Irvine DONT want to live in SL anyway.

    And dont get started on expensive rents – it’s already expensive in Silver Lake regardless of whether these three proposals are ever built.

    • Humans are visual creatures, as much as personal ones;

      To think that two 100 unit Colossal Apartment Complexes will not impact the Sunset Junction is ASININE

  15. So… the SLNC says unanimously, “We think the developer has no credibility, but we’d love to see what he plans to put there in the future!”

    They know they are only advisory, right? …. And that they developer doesn’t have to talk to them again?…. So… what’s the point of getting this hotheaded?

    Makes you wonder if someone is playing the SLNC board for a fool.

  16. I will warn, the neighborhood council has nixed this plan. But if it should come back, with fewer units, I fear the council will feel it must approve, as it too often has wrongly voiced in the past. NO, it does not have to approve, even if the density bonus is dropped and the units are what the zoning ALONE might allow. There are plenty of other variables that can force the number of units lower, the zoning does not operate in a vacuum.

    I would be hard pressed to justify half that number of units over the three lots. I would not want to say even that would be acceptable.

    But I warn, the routine if a developer wants 225 units and expects opposition over that density, then the routine is to propose 300. Let the outrage come. Then, be a “very nice guy” and “willing to work with the community” and “scale it back” to a “meager” 225 units. Talk about how much you are giving up and sacrificing because you “care” about the community. Seem “flexible” and agreeable. Add a little bit of the whip and point out that you could build “500” units if you want to, and if you are blocked, someone else will come in who is not so willing to “work with” the community and will build a lot more units. And, and, and …

    This absolutely is how it will go. In the end, I’m afraid the neighborhood council, in either its naivety or bias, will let itself be snookered and will end up approving far too dense a development. These guys are playing hard ball. Our neighborhood council is still in the pee wee leagues, not even up to softball much less hard ball.

    Oh, also, the EIR will say all is fine and dandy, just a few minor changes here and there so that it will look line an “honest” report. But it is being paid for by the developer, and done by his selection of “experts.” Those “experts” know the only way they can stay in business is to say whatever he wants to be said and justify anything he wants justified. If they don’t, no one will ever hire them to do an EIR again. It is a farce. But it will be used powerfully. It is very technical stuff, and will be difficult to pick apart, piece by piece, over a thousand pieces. But it must be picked apart, laboriously and with a lot of time expended — for it will be false and detrimental the the environment of this neighborhood. This is one of the major tools that will be used to try to outwit and browbeat the neighborhood council.

    • The issue, really, is that the City when creating Neighborhood Councils a decade ago, only gave them very limited powers. After all, the City isn’t going to give up power — and the 15 Councilmembers aren’t going to give up power — you know? So the Neighborhood Councils certainly can’t stop something that is “by-right,” which is what these developments are. (“By-right” means the owner has the right to build and do what they want with their property as long as it’s within the permitted zoning use that their property is zoned for.) Frankly, I’d love to see Neighborhood Councils have some real power.

      Your comments about the EIR (Environmental Impact Report) are spot on. It will use CEQA guidelines, most likely, for construction pollution, noise, etc. in the EIR, but these guidelines are incomplete — despite being derived from actual LA laws and State regulations. The community needs to demand that the contractor/developer adheres to the following laws and regulations, otherwise residents within blocks of these sites will get respiratory issues:

      1) California EPA “Particulate Matter” Standards (Particulate Matter is what actually causes illnesses & respiratory issues)

      2) AQMD Rule 403: This is what is legally in place to minimize pollution and Particulate Matter from construction sites [This is usually referenced in many EIR’s; however, “Table 1″ in this regulation is what is usually left out, and contractors/developers ignore it. In “Table 1″ are 49 specific measures that are supposed to be utilized, in order to keep dust/dirt/Particulate Matter from going airborne and making people sick]

      For Noise control from construction:
      Los Angeles Municipal Codes 112.04(b), 112.05, and 41.40.
      These are usually violated by contractors, and unfortunately, the LAPD doesn’t like to enforce these particular ordinances. Why? Read this for some insight: http://echopark.patch.com/users/jerome-courshon/blog_posts

    • MALTMANISTANIAN

      You’re dead on, Gene. Developers’ Ask-For-A-Lot-Settle-For-A-Bit-Less approach has been a proven formula exhibited up and down the coast. This assault should be met with zero tolerance. Hello?

  17. Does anyone else find it ironic (or hypocritical) that Gareth Kantner is “upset” and wants to give his input on the design?

    • oh get OVER that wall argument already !

      • LOL,,,the wall argument is hysterical…there is a lot more in The Junction that is an affront to the eye besides a small wall and the expansion of a great neighborhood restaurant.

    • Hah, I was thinking the same thing… practice what you preach.

      • although the wall is not to the same scale as these three projects yes it is totally hypocritical that Gareth demands the developer bend to his will even though he wasn’t interested in the community’s opinion of the wall in the slightest

        • I’m part of the “community” since I live at the junction, and I like the wall. anything to block the view of el pollo loco

          • Mr. Gorbachev tear down that wall !
            uh , now THATS a wall that was worth a discussion !
            Get over the stupid little wall issue people yes its ugly , who cares .

          • The point is not about the wall itself. It is about Gareth insisting on the developer heed his advise on THEIR project when HIS project had the same level of community scrutiny.

            Some call that hypocrisy. I will settle for irony.

          • what about nice some curtains

  18. @ CLUELESS.

    What is your problem with Gareth, he’s pretty much made the junction what it is today. He pulls in small, great business and keeps the original theme of the neighborhood in tact.

    And have you even seen his addition to Stella? It’s tastefully done and blends right in. Still cannot believe all the people that yammered on and on about that little wall.

    This development is atrocious in comparison. Fine if they want to do it at the Bates site, but too big.

    • I have nothing against Gareth at all. I didn’t oppose his right to erect the wall in front of Stella. As a matter of fact I support anyone doing what they wish with their property as long as it is legal. And obviously Gareth has the same attitude (when it comes to his wall and not other people’s walls)

      I found it a ironic is all…

  19. Long time reader, first time commenter

    Bates apartment I am fine with, especially if it has underground parking that doesn’t mess things up for the people that already live there. It would also add needed density to that kind of dead patch of Sunset between Santa Monica and Fountain. As for the other two… that area is already pretty crowded. And there are already big apartment buildings nearby. I guess I don’t see the point, besides turning Sunset Junction into Santa Monica.

  20. I look forward to seeing these built.

  21. I agree that population density is an issue in this area. Remember that two brand new, GIANT apartment buildings were just completed right in the middle of all of this (on Sunset at Myra) and there are already two other old, multi-story apartment buildings within 100 feet of site one.

  22. I feel like the neighborhood council should have approved at least one component of this proposed project otherwise they come across as rigid and against any change. They should have approved the building on the bates motel for example. At this point, I’d approve a Burger King if it meant getting rid of that eyesore.

  23. I’d like to see a comprehensive transit system throughout the center of LA, before there are any more dense mixed use projects in traditionally low rise neighborhoods. A street car down the center of Sunset Blvd connecting Hollywood Red Line stations and Silverlake/Sunset Juntion/Los Feliz,Echo Park and Downtown LA. Once the infrastructure is more firmly in place, then and only then can we begin imagining denser infill developments and build them with little or no parking structures to encourage use of alternative transit.

    • I agree. I wish developers had to pay a percentage into city infrastructure like they do in Vancouver. I can’t believe there’s been little to no momentum in bringing back the streetcar from downtown along Sunset to Hollywood. The neighborhoods are already geared for it. Just put it back!

    • We already have a comprehensive transit system throughout the center of LA. Its called the bus. Its takes you all the places you say should be connected — and a lot more. Rail is not the only form of public transit! And there are pros and cons for both buses and trains — so choices are made. So far, the bus has been chosen.

      Also, transportation is not the only issue with the density proposed for these projects. There are a host of issues. I would not support this project even with all the trains you say we should have here — this project still would be wrong.

      • Right. I’ve ridden the bus. It’s often bursting at the seams. You upgrade heavily trafficked bus lines to rail lines, which is why other major cities do not rely solely on a network of haphazard buses. Buses sit in traffic and often run erratically as a result, which is precisely the problem. Streetcars at least have a dedicated lane and are perfect for shorter trips, which is precisely what most of us Eastsiders are doing when we shuffle up and down along Sunset.

        • Yes, as I said, their are pros and cons of both train and buses. All you are saying is some pros of trains. You are saying nothing of the cons, nor of the pros of buses.

          Regardless, the OP was saying we don’t have transit here to various places, Yes we do, and comprehensive. You might prefer to ride a train to a bus, but that doesn’t mean transit doesn’t exist absent a train.

          And no, bursting at the seams buses is not why trains are used. Trains burst at the seams too — just go to places like Manhattan or Boston and try to even squeeze onto the trains at rush hour. Go ride the Blue Line sometime and tell me whether trains burst at the seams.

          Too bad trains are so inflexible as compared to buses. And too bad they are so much more expensive. Too bad when a train breaks down, all the trains on that line behind it also are stopped until that train is fixed (I’ve missed an airline flight over that issue!). Too bad you can only run as many cars on a train as the size of the platform — which ain’t very many in LA, where can handle just three cars but some can handle six — and compared to maybe 20 in New York.

          Should I goon? There is nothing perfect out there — but nonetheless, we do have a comprehensive system, even if it does not match someone’s preferred toy. (And in that regard, I will say, I much prefer the train ride as more comfortable because is it not so bumpy.)

          • Yes, we do have a comprehensive bus system.

            But the Sunset line is of sufficient capacity to warrant a train now (actually, it warrants a subway, but we know we’re too cheap to foot that bill). Trains actually are cheaper when you take into account their longevity and the carbon costs associated with bus transit. You forget all of the costs that our government is footing in resurfacing roads and heavily subsidizing gasoline. Short-term, fine–buses are cheaper, and much less effective in drawing potential riders out of their cars.

            I hear you on the break-downs and I’m sorry you missed a plane. I myself have missed a train to San Diego because of the fact that the 720 didn’t show up for 45 minutes one evening and then when it finally did, it was filled to the brim with riders and as a result didn’t stop. Most mature cities (Los Angeles not yet included) double-track their rail lines. It will undoubtedly be a project we’ll be undertaking at some point in the future when we’re further weaned off of our cars.

            Yes, trains can be filled to the brim as well, but at least you move more people than in a bus. Sorry, but I think most corridors in this city warrant rail lines at this point and there’s really no way of arguing for anything less other than the fact that we have a shoestring budget because we’re spending all of our money on subsidizing roads and oil, through war or peace. The rest of the world didn’t embrace rail because it was just a nicer experience for the passenger: it’s more efficient and makes economic sense to any sane country.

        • If they won’t put in a dedicated lane for the bus, what makes you think they’d put in a dedicated lane for a streetcar? Even the blue line and the expo line still have to wait at red lights. Between silver lake and echo park a streetcar would be fine, but when I’m going to ucla or Disney hall, the bus is more convenient – especially if there’s a street fair somewhere and they need to re-route transit for the weekend.

        • But you’re right – there’s enough traffic down sunset that it should be a subway. Until then the thing to do would be to turn some car lanes into bus only lanes and run the buses every 3 minutes or so. But since that would hurt rich people who refuse to take the bus while only helping twice as many people, I can see that the city will resist.

      • The bus infrastructure at Sunset Junction is a bit sub-par for this. But if they do put in that bus plaza they’re talking about, and change some routes to bring in the 180 to Pasadena, the 217 to Fairfax, and make the 175 more frequent, in addition to the 2, 4, and 704, then this area really will have sufficient transit to go anywhere you might want. As it is, I still do half my travel by biking to the 754 or the red line.

  24. Also, if you want to keep silver lake affordable, logically you should be for more units. A building with expensive rent causes renters with means to vacate more affordable units in the neighborhood for fresh new more luxurious units in the new building.

    • Couldn’t agree more. It’s bizarre all these folks who want SL affordable but oppose any efforts to add apartments. Higher supply = lower costs.

  25. It is not the responsibility of developers to create “affordable” properties. They will create properties that they think the market will support, and then that’s what will take place. Obviously if one wants to live in Silverlake you must be able to afford the rent or be able to buy. If there weren’t enough folks willing to do so, rent/prices would have to decrease. Don’t understand why people feel the builders/developers have to responsibility to provide units at an under market price. These projects will also create many jobs during the construction process.

    • Well if they’re requesting a density bonus (more units, reduced parking) for providing low income units, than I’d say it’s fair game to push for that, no?

      • Could be a fair trade off, but why make the developers subsidize below market prices for their property? Why not just choose less density?

        • Well it seems like the city’s long range goal of dense/walkable neighborhoods is kinda jumbled up in one package with affordable housing. I’m not sure if I agree with combining them, but I do think both are important on their own for the sustainability of our city. LA zoning is kinda ridiculous, they haven’t updated the city plan in 60 some years so to accommodate growth it’s become a byzantine labyrinth of red tape and caveats for the well connected… not unlike the tax code in this country.

        • The better choice would be more density, which would be more affordable. If each apartment is 3/4 the size and has no parking, the building would be smaller and the rents would be cheaper.

    • There are rules of the game. This is simply the rules of the game. If the developer doesn’t want to play by the rules, he doesn’t have to play the game. These were the rules of the game long before he ever bought that property.

      But nonetheless, the public has a great interest in such rules. Among the many, many things public policy addresses is housing. Gee, we have too many homeless people already — to think that only the market should be involved, no public/government involvement in housing, is a formula for nothing but housing that many people can’t afford.

      Actually, many people already can’t afford housing and the homeless are only some of them. You will find a lot of people doubled or even tripled up in small units intended for only one. That, too, is a sign that the market is not going to provide for those needing lower income housing.

      Gee, to complain about the requirement here is ridiculous — look at how meager it is, so inadequate to address the need for lower income housing — and it isn’t even that, is simply “affordable” housing. I don’t see how anyone can complain about getting $1,600 a month for a little one-bedroom apartment (or maybe they won’t even be that, will merely be studio apartments).

  26. The proposal mentions a total of 25 units for “very low income”, did they really say no section 8? And is that for a 1-br, 2-br, studio? What’s the legal requirement of rent/income per unit for the city to grant the density bonus? And what about traffic mitigation, will they be adding a new signal and crosswalks to Sunset/Bates?

  27. You guys are nuts. There isn’t an existing density problem in this area. It’s mostly smooth traffic through Sunset, even through Sunset, nice bike paths, and the streets are often empty, but with the exception of a few brunch spots further East that occupy the sidewalk. It’s time for Silver Lake to grow up, because we need more places to live, especially if the breeders are going to continue having children.

  28. I live in silverlake and wrote to the planning department in support of this project (but suggested waiving minimum parking requirements). There is unfortunately a generational divide in Los Angeles in which older homeowners, even many who are political liberal, are stuck in a slow-growth mindset from the 1980s. They don’t realize, or don’t care, that opposing development in established neighborhoods creates sprawl in more far-flung parts of the region. It’s going to take many fights over individual projects and hopefully some changes to land use rules to break the reactionary power of homeowners associations and neighborhood councils.

    A. anyone who lives in this area, owns a car and is opposed this project because it might mean more traffic is a hypocrite.
    B. anyone who owns property in this area and has remodeled it, painted it to match their preferences etc but wants to tell other property owners what is out of character for the neighborhood is a hypocrite.
    C. anyone who considers themselves to be an environmentalist but opposes a project that would add residential units in a fairly walkable neighborhood is a hypocrite

    • Wow, this guy knows a lot about hypocrites! I’d love to hear D through Z. Do continue!

    • Couldn’t agree more. The demand for housing is growing in the big cities across the country whether any of us like it or not. It’s either Silver Lake walkable and higher density, or more of those massive housing tracts like what we now have in Santa Clarita, IE, etc.

  29. $how me the Money

    It would be ideal if these new building were affordable for communitylocal folks.
    I can barely afford my rent let alone these expensive new housing…..buuuuh-

    • If they put a cap on the size of each unit, then that should make them more affordable. But if developers are allowed to keep putting in 1600 sq ft two bedroom apartments with two included parking spots then it’s no wonder if prices keep going up. Make sure they’re 600 sq ft studios with no parking, and make sure the buses come frequently and reliably, and then maybe we’ll finally have some affordable housing.

  30. Most people are probably complaining because the increase in joggers will push them off the path around the reservoir.

  31. Are the pro as is development people as a whole pro development on the basis that the developer should be allowed to do whatever is legal on their property or on the basis that this doesn’t have a significant impact.

    Or in general should the community have input on it’s character in these larger developments beyond what is legally required in order to maintain quality of life issues important to the community.

    This may be a stretch ask for opinions without getting all hysterical but I’m just just curious where people at the core of the issue fall philosophically.

  32. @mark

    I can’t speak for others who are in favor of more residential development in the area but I support it because it will have a significant impact, and I think that the impact will be positive. Adding residences will help support local businesses; it will increase the demand for and viability of transit in the area; it will add housing supply which will have a (small) positive effect on keeping housing from becoming less affordable; and it will possibly reduce regional pollution (assuming that some of the people who could live in these units might otherwise have lived in more exurban areas and driven more. That’s not really a testable hypothesis for a single project like this but overall, the more people live in walkable areas served by transit rather than in car-based suburban areas, the less air pollution, water use, etc.)

    • All reasonable points imo.

      What what about the architecture does this affect the character of the neighborhood in a way that will have an significant impact

      Also what about the sort of chain restaurants/stores that some people feel that this type of architecture attract. Would that create a change of character that will discourage or drive out individually owned smaller businesses

      I’m not this against development outright I understand there is change and with that comes a certain amount of discomfort.

      On the other hand developers have absolutely no interest in anything other than making money (which is not a crime) just pointing out that any community who has no community regulating its development is also a really bad idea so I think it has to be a balance

      • When I think of silver lake and architecture the first thing that comes to mind is modernist residential architecture. This project seems to fit within that tradition, even if it’s not 100% spectacular to look at.

        It would be nice if the project had a relationship with some local retail but it’s not built yet. Presumably the developers, as part of their market research, know a little about the kind of people who like this area, and the kind of retail that attracts them to silver lake.

        So I agree that it would be nice if new projects can be something that existing residents could embrace. But even if projects are different that what currently dominates the neighborhood, they are still welcome if they bring more residents, new vitality, more people out walking about. Silverlake is a creative neighborhood and part of creativity is reinvention and diversity.

        • Mmmm ok I see some points we fundamentally disagree and that’s what I was curious about.

          Personally I think its not a question of what types of businesses this development might attract. They know it will attract all types of businesses although they would like to charge the max rent, usually affordable by the type of chains local residents have long resisted. Its sorta the Americana phenomenon if you build new retail/housing complexes and are trying to maximize profit you will rent to the highest bidder i.e. GAP, Starbucks etc. That encourages people to move in who enjoy living above chain stores or in a mall like environment. I think that’s what people are resisting.

          The same goes with the design its comes across to many as generic with modernist caricature detailing. (Although i agree it could be much worse).

          I equate vitality with uniqueness not necessarily with more activity or people. ( although I’m not against those things outright) But I think left unchecked developers would local organic culture for profit in a second. I think SL, EP etc. really need to figure out if this is what we want and what we’re willing to do to preserve some of the things we value.

  33. Just a general observation on a lot of these comments – “just say no” is not a strategy that works for community management.

  34. With regards to the bus/train argument, the expansion of rail in LA has had a direct tradeoff with bus routes. So as rail routes have increased bus routes have decreased. This has lead to a net decrease in transit ridership. Trains seem to be the solution people who don’t take mass transit prefer, while people that take mass transit seem to prefer actually being dropped off near their destination.

  35. Its amusing how many people expend energy complaining about some Green Polkadot paint on a street and/or some 6′ wall in front of Cafe Stella as something that will ruin the personality of Sunset Junction….

    NOW two 100 unit COLOSSAL APARTMENT COMPLEXES, right in the middle of the Junction, IS something to be up in arms about!

  36. hello my denizens this is the unofficial mayor of the lake of silver. i have lived by sunset & edgecliffe area since 1987. things are changing for the better no matter what all these folks are complaining about. sure the renderings look like crap but so do the existing areas without them. 4100 is a local joke that none of us go to because of the drunk better than thou hipsters who know everything about silver lake & either aren’t from the area or have lived here for a short time. i can’t wait for it to be zapped into hipster hell & a fresh new place with restaurants/stores & living spaces will be a fresh blessing. the bates motel is an eyesore with drug dealers/crack heads & whores. please zap that back to drug den hell. and as far as the 3rd location is where the different light bookstore was, this was a great row of shops but with beverly hills pricing no 1 shopped there anyways so what’s the loss? peeps come to my neighborhood & talk smack right after they litter their intellegencia cup and cigarette butt onto our sidewalks. silver lake is gritty as we have major crime here, for example the garage pizza delivery boy was recently executed by gunfire on the way home from work. i hear gunfire often & the helicopters are non stop at night with their spotlights. so i ask you the naysayers, having new business in the area is going to hurt silver lake? i say go back to your corporate job in the oc & don’t forget to pick up your trash on the way back! i welcome all things new & positive to the neighborhood and these developments are just that. so take that!
    LOL~ ~~~

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