SILVER LAKE — A plan by Silver Lake business woman Dana Hollister to turn a now vacant church into a 25-room boutique hotel with a restaurant and rooftop garden was approved by a Planning Department official. But Hollister’s request to serve and sell a full line of alcohol – a potentially lucrative source of revenue – and allow for public dancing were denied.
The decision made public in a letter today will help move the Griffith Park Boulevard project forward, with its supporters saying it will provide much needed hotel rooms to Silver Lake while also preserving and reviving the former Pilgrim Church, a 1931 Romanesque-style building on that looms over surrounding homes, apartments and businesses. But nearby residents waged an active campaign to oppose and scale back the hotel, which they said will worsen traffic congestion, deplete street parking and increase noise in the tightly packed neighborhood.
It appeared that Associate Zoning Administrator Jim Tokunaga was trying to shield residents from noise and congestion by denying the project’s request to sell and serve a full line of alcohol in the restaurant, bar and guest rooms. He also turned down a request to allow public dancing.
While the use of the site as a hotel “may be appropriate, “the sale of alcoholic beverages on the site”changes the nature of the hotel from a low key boutique hotel in a residential area into a destination hotel with special parties and entertainment,” Tokunaga said. Public dancing “could potential attract more members from the public exacerbating a lack of parking in the area not only for the potential customers for area residents.”
Tokunaga’s decision can still be appealed by Hollister or residents and is subject to further review by the city.