The Planning Lady

By Christine Peters aka The Planning Lady

Here’s the latest batch of notable city planning filings and notices:

What’s Brewing

Echo Park
Allston Yacht Club, 1320 Echo Park Ave.   The owners of Allston Yacht Club  are seeking to continue operation of the existing 1,600 square-foot restaurant and bar without having to provide on-site parking.  What can we say about AYC?  Except that it’s a Planning Lady favorite.  Planning Lady remembers the days when it a pupuseria known as “La Paz,” and, well, she’s a bit partial to its new inhabitant. Okay, enough with the favoritism. All that being said, AYC inherited some pretty strict conditions from the previous tenant, a restaurant called 15. Based on community concerns about the previous owners of 15, the city’s zoning officer placed strict conditions regarding parking, specials, live music, etc. on restaurant 15.  AYC, after two years of operation, is seeking to have some of the stricter conditions lifted based on the goodwill they have developed with the community.  La Paz never had to provide off-street parking in the old days  days and AYC is hoping to keep it that way.   Case No. ZA-2011-1260-CUB-ZA


Echo Park
2327 W. Beverly Blvd.  T Mobile wants to place a wireless facility on top of the existing, five-story University Building in a commercial zone.  A representative who no longer works for T Mobile said the company is seeking to modify an existing wireless unit already in place.  Case. No.ENV-2011-1288-CE.

Highland Park


5610 Aldama Dr.  The property owner wants to build a new 1,106 square-foot single-family home in a rear yard.  The property is located in the Highland Park-Garvanza Overlay Zone, which regulates remodels of “contributing buildings” – structures that add to the neighborhood’s historic significance – as well as new construction found.  This should require a review by the HPOZ Board. The area is zoned R2, which allows 2 residential units on the property.  Case No  ENV-2011-1222-CE

Lincoln Heights
211 S. Ave 20The Alliance for College Ready Public Schools wants to build  a 48,585 square-foot, three-story charter school for grades 6-12, with two levels of underground parking.  The site is located in a commercial zone as well as a Adaptive Reuse Incentive Area, that encourages repurposing existing buildings into live/work, mixed-use or residential units  in exchange for reduced parking and less restrictive enforcement of zoning.  The site looks like it is currently being used as a parking lot.  Looking at the map, however, it is quite close to the very busy 5 freeway.  New school construction guidelines often mandate mitigations if they are within a certain distance of freeways.  The developer’s representative said plans would soon be available for review.  Case No. ZA-2011-1250-ZV

The Planning Lady is in no way a professional planner, employee of the City of Los Angeles or on the dole of any developers.  Just a crusty old gal who has gone to one too many Planning Commission meetings!  Want to track any above the cases? Enter the case number with the city’s Planning Department Case Tracking page.

Have a lead or link to a recently filed city entitlement report or public hearing you’d like us to ‘translate” or report on? Send an email to the PlanningLady@theEastsiderLA.com


  1. I haven’t tried AYC yet. Had bad experiences at 15 and I guess am still turned off by the location. I am going to have to check it out.
    It is kind of crappy to make such personal attacks in a public forum. There
    are classier ways of getting your point accross!

  2. I still miss La Paz…

    AYC is good Ajiii, its worth checking out on their wednesday deal days when every dish is $5.

    And 3 cheers for the Planning Lady! If we had this sort of early warning system in place in the past, I can think of one 5 story development that might have been more difficult to build…

  3. Re AYC, you would make a huge mistake to equate the parking needs of AYC with those of the former pupuseria. The pupuseria was far, far more oriented to pedestrians coming in, whereas AYC is far more oriented to a clientele far more likely to be in cars — just because of the different nature of the offerings.

    And from what you write, you leave me wondering what other of the conditions than parking they are seeking to lift — such as the restriction on live music, and the cars that will attract! Great, quietly evolve into another nightclub posing as a mere restaurant — and don’t even have parking.

    p.s. — The Planning Lady ain’t the least bit crusty or old!

  4. I’m happy that AYC is a local restaurant that we can – and always do – walk to.

  5. @Mark

    Since AYC has no parking lot, and most of us walk there, I think the basis for you claiming that the far, far more oriented to pedestrians is more or less your own sense of bias and nostalgia. Awesome fear mongering though.

  6. seriously, fear mongering indeed. AYC is great, and is exactly the kind of business that the city should support! affordable & friendly, and a neighborhood pedestrian favorite. and are we really worried about music & drinking at the corner of sunset & echo park? give me a break, it’s already there dude.

  7. I live right next to AYT and have only been their once. Frankly the prices are out of my budget and the food is good but not impressive. I miss La Paz i used to go there every week and the owner would say hi to me everytime i walked by. They had the best pupusas around and the best horchata (made fresh everyday). They never had the money to remodel the place, but despite their B to A to B to C rating, I never got sick. I am still partial to La Paz. But i do think AYT is a friendly neighborhood place that has been there that deserves to make a little noice now and then, but it’s REALLY close to houses. I think if Lot 1 Cafe that was barely open for a year and only on sundays for a small (snobby) brunch crowd is allowed to have indie bands play on the weekends, then i don’t see why AYT shouldn’t be allowed to make some noice. BTW i heard that the Lot 1 Cafe owner is the one who got rid of Echo Curio, another local and community favorite. AYT is respectful to its neighbors, and we are respectful to them, i won’t even park in front of the restaurant on weekends just because i know they need the space. okay i’m done talking

  8. @RC — Like you, I really miss Cafe La Paz — I loved the good home-cooked food, great value, and the friendly family that ran it. Does anyone know whether that family has opened another restaurant somewhere?

    But I didn’t like the space when La Paz had it, so I always got things to go. Never had a problem with parking. I never went to 15 and haven’t been to AYC, but I’m sure AYC gets much more business in general, including people with cars as well as pedestrians.

    It sounds like there isn’t currently a problem with parking, so maybe the city can lift some restrictions while continuing to monitor what’s happening.

    Whatever happens with this particular restaurant, as downtown Echo Park continues to become more built up and more of a destination, I hope the city will consider parking as well as other issues for the area as a whole.

  9. @woman on hill

    If you say you miss La Paz, have you been to Nuvias? Or Mayas? You should go, before you end up mourning them to!

    More importantly, you should walk! That’s what people in cities do.

  10. @nopal — I have indeed been to Nuvia’s. Haven’t been to Maya’s yet.

    I really liked the food at La Paz, especially their pollo guisado, their pollo encebollado, their mojarra frita, and of course their pupusas. Great curtido. Of the Salvadoran restaurants I’ve been to, I liked their pupusas the best. Your mileage may vary.

    And yes, I do walk. But when one is getting a large quantity of take-out food, it sometimes makes more sense to drive.

  11. i think the reason La Paz was so much better than Nuvias and Mayas is the family. The women in the family would practice their english with you if the their husband/father wasn’t around, who was always trying to improve business by offering affordable specials. And the family really wanted all kinds of people to come to the restaurant, I always felt welcomed when i walked in and they remembered me too. I definitely haven’t feel that way the few time I’ve eatan at Nuvias or Mayas.

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