Thursday, October 20, 2016

A different view of Alvarado and Baxter

Screenshot 2015-10-24 at 10.44.14 AM

The view to the west from Alvarado and Baxter

baxter and alvarado

New fencing installed at the same corner | Bug Wuller

ELYSIAN HEIGHTS — The corner of  Baxter and Alvarado streets  is one of those places in the hills where people have gathered to watch stunning sunsets, glimmering city lights or brush fires in the distance. But passersby this week found that part of the view had been screened off with green construction fencing, the first sign that the unobstructed vista will be changing soon.

Building and grading permits have been pulled but not yet issued to construct a three-story house and attached two-car garage on the vacant corner lot, according to the Building and Safety Department.

The online summary does not indicate if the three-story home will be built lower down the hill, preserving the view, or right at the corner. Best to enjoy the remaining view just in case.

baxter and alvarado lot

Bug Wuller

Support The Eastsider Today

Bloggers don’t live on comments alone. You can support The Eastsider, a privately-owned company, by purchasing an annual Reader Sponsorship. Your financial support and sponsorship will help defray the costs of gathering neighborhood news and stories. You can pay via PayPal or by using your credit or debit card. Your sponsorship is not tax deductible. Just click on the button below to select a sponsorship level and sign up today.

The Eastsider offers four levels of Reader Sponsorships:

$25 Reader Sponsorship

  • Get An Eastsider Reader Benefits Card that entitles you to deals and discounts from neighborhood merchants
  • You will be thanked by name on the blog and recognized as a sponsor of The Eastsider

$50 Reader Sponsorship

  • Get An Eastsider Reader Benefits Card that entitles you to deals and discounts from neighborhood merchants
  • You will be thanked by name on the blog and recognized as a sponsor of The Eastsider
  • Complementary Eastsider postcards

$100 Reader Sponsorship

  • Get An Eastsider Reader Benefits Card that entitles you to deals and discounts from neighborhood merchants
  • You will be thanked by name on the blog and recognized as a sponsor of The Eastsider.
  • Complementary Eastsider postcards
  • One-month advertisement promoting the nonprofit, school or charity of your choice located or active in our coverage area (email us for details).
Fill out my online form.

Thanks for your support!
Jesús Sanchez, The Eastsider LLC

Click here if you are having trouble viewing this form

Eastsider Advertising


  1. That sucks! No other way to put it. That ONE house could hog that entire view is criminal. Hello El Niño!

  2. Despite the ridiculous comment in the story, that house will not be built three stories lower on the hillside lot to preserve the view for others! Even without the view, that would be preposterous. But with the view, it would be completely insane, as they certainly paid a high price for that view and are not going to skip it in their design..

    That is truly wrong there, as with most of the other things being built around here, it is too tall, is way out of character with the existing neighborhood, will stand out like a sore thumb. This will be the tallest building around there, even without being on a hilltop.

    And it will block the view of all the other people around there, not to mention others, as the story notes, who go there for it

    CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) specifically requires that impact on viewscape be mitigated – but I’m sure this project, like EVERYTHING that is presented to the city, has been rubber stamped with a negative declaration of environmental impact, so will not even have to do an EIR much less anything that would show is needed to be mitigated.

    And the only way to force that EIR and mitigation will be to file a lawsuit, because even appealing it through the administrative route to the City Council will get no justice, as Mitch O’Farrell has 100% dictatorial control over it, and he will let any builder do anything they want — he has taken many, many hundreds of thousands of dollars from them for just his campaign committee in just his first two years in office, not to mention all the other accounts he collects for — he is completely paid for. Money from developers and their associated interests, such as construction unions and lawyers and architects, represent just about 100% of his campaign contributions!

    O’Farrelll has made it a routine to not even let people paying to appeal to the City Council actually have a hearing before the 15 councilmembers, have a chance to speak their case. He makes sure the matter is put on the “consent calendar,” and even when pleaded with before the meeting, he refuses to take it off the consent calendar to allow a hearing. All matters on the consent calendar are automatically adopted by unanimous vote of the council with no discussion.

    If you don’t want even more of this drastic overdevelopment here, then it is long past time to recall O’Farrell.

  3. I seem to remember that the neighborhood successfully blocked development on this spot some 10-15 years ago. I’m wondering why now? Has someone been sitting on this property waiting to refile? Three stories is crazy!

    • It was not built 10 years ago because the planning was considered unsafe and he neighborhood really fought it. Do we still have a fight in us?

      • Fight — but know that O’Farrell will overrule you when your appeal gets to City Council. You will need to get used to the idea that you will have to hire a lawyer and sue. A number of other neighbors in other areas around here have sued over projects in those locations — because O’Farrell pushes all projects through. The two latest I know of to sue is a small lot subdivision on Coronado and another on a double lot on Hyperion, both south of Sunset. I believe the one on Hyperion got the lawyer who stopped the Target project at Sunset and Western and the projects by Hollywood and Vine.

        As long as O’Farrell is councilman, a lot worse projects that this one will be getting the green light.

  4. Pretty sure it will look like every other house. Normal max hillside is 32′ (ish – I might be off a couple feet.) And that height is the MAX so that’s from the very lowest point to the top, which means the top floor will look like a single story house with a garage at street level (like every other house built like this.) If you see it from down the hill though it will look 32′ high (like every recently built house in the hood.)

    DONT WORRY! We’re all going to be surrounded with exactly the same cookie cutter boxes made of tricky tacky! …yay.

  5. the max height is 33 feet even for 3 story house. That is from the very bottom and of course they are going to need to do major foundation work to support a 3 story house. I agree with the above post that the house likely will only end up 10 feet above the street level or so. Probably appear to be only 1 story from the street. That may still block the view from a car on the street, but really the owner of the property has a right to build a house there unless the neighbors want to get together to buy the lot (I doubt it).

  6. I’m curious about the permit approval because they started grading today.

    • Did they start actual grading? Or are they simply clearing the land for now? The story says they have no grading permit. If they are grading, call out the building inspectors to stop them and serve them – and that will only bolster any fight later.

  7. Someone paid good money for a lot with a view, and now they are going to build a house on it…and people have the audacity to whine as if the owners have have no right to do so? Give me a break.

    There are a myriad of lovely vistas around LA that are located on public land, where no one will ever build a house. Go find one and quit your whinging.

    • AtomZ, thank you! Some common sense in this discussion.

      Recap: Someone has purchased a VACANT LOT and will be building A HOME on it. That’s what happens in residential neighborhoods. So long as they are operating within the required rules in regard to height, setback and density — who the hell is anyone to try to stop them? And to all these stupid concerns about “safety.” Be serious. This new house will be inspected over and over again by any number of city agencies. It will be safer than your house, significantly so.

      We live in a country where there are strong rules of law in regard to property rights — be thankful for it. I’ve heard so many whining jerks complain about any small amount of “change:” in their precious neighborhoods. Why do you get to decide what gets built and what doesn’t? Or what looks good and what doesn’t? Why is your corner of LA is so special and who put you in charge of it?

  8. Thank you atomZ and Li Li. You bring a sensibility that is otherwise sorely lacking here.

  9. I love the hypocrites on here. You should listen to yourselves whining and complaining. You don’t own that corner, The person who bought it did! Go somewhere else for your free views lmao

    • Yeah, the new owners bought the slanted lot so they could build anything they want!!
      Screw the long term residents and their quaint and historical neighborhood. One with a solid reputation of fighting to preserve its historical significance amongst the rapidly encroaching quasi-conservative, east coast, mc mansion and house flipping demographic.
      Why stop at only a 3 stories!? How about a lovely mixed use complex with retail at street level.
      The new west side developers paid top dollar after all. And they REALLY care for the neighborhood…

      • Oh, get over yourself and your ridiculous, hyperbolic BS.

        It’s a sloping lot, so as others have pointed out, the house will necessarily be built DOWN the hill and likely will appear as nothing more than a single story from street level. Retail is impossible in that spot, and the size of the lot itself dictates that the house can only be so large.

        It’s a private lot in a residential neighborhood…houses are built on private lots in residential neighborhoods…that’s just what happens. The same thing occurred with every other private lot in the area which has a home on it. Perhaps you believe that every other house on a private lot with a view in that area should be torn down so you can enjoy the view as you drive up the street? No? Why not, because only long term residents should enjoy the property rights attached to the land they OWN?

        Pure silliness.

        • Drive up the street and make a left hand turn at the mentioned corner. I dare you.
          I double dog dare you.
          It’s not the GodD view. It’s the steepist hill in Los Angeles and there’s is a reason nothing has been built on that lot! But then again , how would you know. You’ve only looked in EP’s general direction once the hipsters deemed it safe to visit.

          • It is a nice neighborhood and a steep street. However, there is a hillside ordinance that restricts the size and height of homes on hillsides. That takes into account how steep the grade is. Are you saying that the person who bought the land does not have a right to build there? Are you saying that it should be limited to being built below street level so that it does not block any view whatsoever? Or are you upset that someone has finally decided to invest the money to built an expensive house on your hill?

          • I know the area very well, thank you.

            Your reasons for opposing the construction of this house seem to be shifting from the, “rapidly encroaching quasi-conservative, east coast, mc mansion and house flipping demographic” coming to destroy your neighborhood, to the difficulty of navigating Baxter due to its steepness.

            So are you mad at the owners, or the hill? Or are you just that angry in general? I can’t figure it out.

  10. all you complainers already have your houses. why can’t someone else have one? it is a privately owned piece of property that the owner pays taxes on and thereby has certain rights.

    Why don’t you’ll the person who has the house across the street to tear theirs down so your view is better. it is just as absurd.

    You always knew someone was going to come long one day and build house….. well here they are!

    welcome them!

  11. Haha, This is the BEST comment section in a long time. Clueless Yuppies versus Hapless Hipsters. I LOVE IT!!!!

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *