The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council has refused to support a proposed five-home development on Hyperion Avenue, with one board member calling the Hyperion Avenue project “ugly” while a resident described the new town homes as out of character with the surrounding neighborhood.
An overwhelming majority of the council’s Governing Board voted last week against a recommendation from the council’s Urban Design and Preservation Committee to support the small-lot development in the 800 block of Hyperion Avenue. While the developers said they had the right to build a larger, taller apartment complex on the same property, neighbors said the project was too large, threatened to worsen a shortage of street parking and posed a traffic safety hazard by locating the driveway near what residents described as a blind curve.
The developers would carve up the lot for five homes under the city’s small-lot subdivision ordinance, which allows for more intense, single-family home development than typically allowed, primarily by reducing the spaces between each home and the boundaries of the lot. The increasing popularity of small lot projects among developers and buyers, however, has also triggered concern and opposition among existing residents concerned about over development, increased traffic congestion and loss of privacy.
After voicing her opposition to the Hyperion development, Anne-Marie Johnson, co-chair of the neighborhood council, encouraged people to contact their City Council representatives and voice their concern about small-lot developments. “I strongly encourage [people to write letters] to stop the pockmark on beautiful Silver Lake.”
But it’s not clear if last week’s vote by the neighborhood council, which is an advisory body and does not have the authority to block development, will have on the Hyperion Avenue development. In fact, another nearby lot now up for sale is also marketed as a development site, according to people at the council meeting.
Last week, opponents of a small-lot project on the north end of Silver Lake suffered a defeat when the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission rejected an application to grant historic monument status and protection to a 1959 ranch-style house designed by noted Chinese-American architect Gilbert L. Leong. The property had been sold last year to an owner who plans to demolish the home on Waverly Drive and build five, new single-family houses on the same property under the small-lot ordinance. If the property had been declared a historic monument, it would have been much more difficult to demolish the home.