Elysian Valley small-lot developer wants to exceed new height limits


ELYSIAN VALLEY —  Restrictions on development adopted last year by the city reduced the maximum height of new buildings to no more than 30 feet on some properties near the L.A River. But those projects that include affordable housing can in some cases  rise above the adopted limits, which is the case of a 30-unit small-lot housing development proposed for the 3022 N. Coolidge Street.

An entity known as Frogtown Village LLC has filed paper work with the Planning Department to subdivide the property into 30 home sites, with two of the units designated as affordable.  The developer is seeking permission to push the height limit to 36 feet and wants to exceed the density limits, too.

The new building and development restrictions were imposed after residents expressed concern about gentrification and over development in the community.  The restrictions apply primarily to numerous  commercial properties that are located roughly between Blake Street and the L.A. River.

The Coolidge Avenue project is being managed by Modative, an architecture firm that has designed several small-lot developments. Under the city’s small-lot development ordinance, developers can construct single-family homes on lots as small as 600 square-feet.

The Eastsider has contacted Modative for more information about the project.

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  1. 30 units and 2 affordable sh..t lets all bow down to these developers.

  2. 2 affordable homes is better than 0, right now that property is a boarded up abandoned wasteland. You’d rather it stay an unproductive empty lot or provide housing for people?

    • No it isn’t. Why not 10 affordable.
      Affordable doesn’t mean low income, just means lower priced.

      • Ivan the Bolshevik

        The reason why not 10 affordable is because the cost to buy the land, entitle, permit, pay fees and build the units is too expensive.

        If only the previous owner gave the land for free, the architects & engineers worked for free, the city didn’t charge anything to entitle/permit, the construction workers worked for free and the material suppliers donated the supplies. Then all the units could be free.

        Da, Comrade, let’s work towards our utopian dreams.

    • Not only that -ekirby- “affordable” is a PR label the developers can use to get the “approval” wink-wink from the city. This city has become disgustingly corrupt. Might as well move ti Mexico where they don’t live under veiled corruption…

    • How about 15 of the units affordable, 10 more for low income. And do it at the 30-foot height limit? What’s the matter with that?

      Do you have the slightest idea the unconscionable amount of money these developers are making on small lot subdivision? They’re making a good $4-5 million on a $2 million investment, all costs included in that, including land, labor, materials, planning! In two to three years time, They are making more profit than most people make in their lifetime! Those numbers I gave are about a 300% profit, something unheard of for anything else.

      This is why we are being so overrun by these things, no developer is going to build anything else in the face of profits like that. So, should more of the units be for low income and affordable, and still at reduced height? Absolutely.

      El Boomerater,has it right — our city is just about the most corrupt in America, I have seen it cited as the most corrupt only behind Chicago. And Unfortunately, our Councilman, Mitch O’Farrell, is the most corrupt of all the city council members — he learned how from his predecessor, Eric Garcetti. Mitch will make sure anything the developer wants will get through City Council — and if you look at his campaign money reports, you will see he has taken about three-quarters of a million dollars from developers and their associated people, like their lawyers and architects, etc. .

      • Ivan the Bolshevik

        According to my calculations the owner is making a million-bajillion dollars. Seems as accurate as your guess.

        If the current owners bought the land for $2.95mm, per the LA County tax assessor, then the architect, engineers, construction workers and material supply companies must be giving the developers $950,000. Its amazing that the owners were able to negotiate that deal, because usually Home Depot charges me for materials, they’ve never paid me to take lumber from them. Same for the construction workers, usually you have to pay them to do work. How do you think the owners got them to pay for the right to build?

  3. An empty lot is better than being over crowded and over run by a bunch spoiled brat hipsters ! More cars , more people , more drunk white hipsters that think they are entitled to our neighborhoods ! Health and Safety are an issue where there is high density . Elysian Valley is a small neighborhood ! Those of us that live here already have homes . Building more housing will make this community into a death trap with only 2 exits !

    • it’s also a flood plain. so i guess it’s, pick you mode of death. stamped or flood.

    • So you declare nobody is allowed to move into “your” neighborhood, especially white people. No white people allowed! You sir are a fascist and a racist.

    • Imagine the reverse of what you’re saying: “we don’t want any drunk Mexicans moving into our neighborhood!”. You are an ignorant bigot

  4. Frogtown pride is exactly the reason we are getting a successful Donald Trump candidacy. Liberals think that racism only flows from white to brown. I have seen many examples of the opposite…

    • No real liberal thinks that. Maybe some ignorant regressive leftists do. But don’t feel too proud, there’s no short of ignorant simpletons on the conservative side.

  5. ConcernedNeighbor

    Our family has lived in the neighborhood for 37 years and have welcomed change. But increase density capacity of lot size and now increasing height limit that is what is troubling. They are over developing and the city is doing nothing. The neighborhood has limits we are stuck between freeway and river there is a limit to the number of parking that is available. 30 homes along with visitors. A lot of the homes were built without capacity for garages. I welcome anyone to move in just buy a house don’t build this monstrosity. These properties are zoned for R2 but developers are being allowed to re zone for R3. I welcome change for the better but the only people that benefit are the developers not the change that is needed. I would like to keep the small neighborhood feel.

    • Ivan the Bolshevik

      Please provide one example of an R2 lot in Frogtown that has been re-zoned to R3. I will buy you lunch at Rick’s if you can give me one single property APN that has been re-zoned like you described.

      Also, the proposed changes are DECREASING height and density, not increasing.

      • Concerned Neighbor

        2872 Allesandro St


  6. Coaltion for better communities

    WAKE Up Elysian Valley!!!!!!!!!!!!

    They are over developing in Elysian Valley and putting the Health & Safety of the 8,000 residents at risk. We are all ready suffering from parking, over crowding, and crime. If this is not enough they are allowing companies like spoke bicycle cafe (‘Bar”) to serve alcohol in our community. These type of establishments will bring even more people to our already crowded community. This is not “Smart Growth” or “Sustainable communities” as mayor Garcetti and the rest of the council members are telling us. It can not be Smart or Sustainable when your infrastructure is over 100 years old and designed for single homes then they allow buildings to go 4 stories up. We can all do the math 1 story home has 4 to 5 people new development has 4 stories 4 x 5= 20 more people per new development it plainly means more people. This is why communities like Hollywood and Echo Park have countless water mains bursting because of the new demands of water for the High rise developments that have been built in those communities.

    Have no fear our council office in District 13 (Mitch) have found a away to solve our infrastructure problems by having you “the tax payer” pay the bill in their new “infrastructure district plan” please read up on this it is not good.

    As for “affordable housing” don’t be fooled about it. In the story above they should only have been able to go to 30 feet. Now if they add “Affordable Housing” which is 10 % they can get a height density bonus of up to 15 feet. Affordable housing they are adding will only last 10years then the affordable housing goes right back to fair market value ( 2 bedroom apt $2,900) this dose not solve our housing problems. We do not need to be politicians to figure this out its a LOOPHOLE at the cost of the you the Tax payer. We had a group of residents that were members of Elysian Valley Riverside Neighborhood council neighborhood council having everybody focusing on a worthless Q Condition when this loophole already existed. We later found out that these members of the Elysian Valley Riverside neighborhood Council had companies along the rivers and some were architects working on city projects very illegal but convenient for them. We can be thankful that they are gone from office and replaced with responsible community oriented residents. I encourage all of you to attend your local Neighborhood Councils Land use committees KEEP an EYE On them their are good ones but more bad and do your research before taking a position. .

    • Oh the horror of having an establishment in the community that sells ALCOHOL!!! Have you ever left your tiny little bubble and noticed that wonderful neighborhoods all over the world have nice restaurants where you can get a drink? Stop being a drama queen.

    • Ivan the Bolshevik

      In the U.S., the National Fire Protection Association defines a high-rise as being higher than 75 feet. Please provide one address of a “High rise development” in Echo Park.

      Also, you need to learn what “affordable housing” requirements are or as you say “do your research before taking a position.” According to state law (SB 2222) an affordable rental unit is deed restricted for 55 years. Why did you make up the 10 year number?.

      • You got it, he makes this stuff up.

        It is harmful to local residents and the social fiber of Elysian Valley when the writer “Coalition for Better Communities” (aka Frogtown Residents Opposing Gentrification or FROG) puts out false information. They make up false dichotomies that seem intended to foment conflict. One can only speculate that self aggrandizement is the real motive..

        *There is no 15′ height bonus for 10% affordable housing. The max height bonus is 20% and so for 30′ limit that means an additional 6′. (thus the filing for 36′)
        * The deed restriction for affordable housing incentives is indeed 55 years not 10 years.
        * The claim that people’s houses are soon going to be taken by eminent domain “just like Chavez Ravine” is not accurate and preys on the fears of Spanish speaking and older residents.

        This group has now gone beyond attacking what they call “white hipsters” and now go after long residents such as the much beloved David Delatorre, who tireless serves the neighborhood and is known for his good works.

  7. How is this news? If there was a developer that didn’t seek to have existing height or density restrictions waived for them that would be news but from what I’ve observed every developer asks and gets permission from the city to build what they want zoning codes be damned.

  8. If every single developer in LA has to grease the wheels for a density bonus or some other variance, maybe the problem is outdated zoning and too much red tape? It’s not like they’re building a sewage treatment facility in your backyard. They’re just townhomes, take a deep breath.

    • Frogtown Pride has made it pretty clear, there’s some contigency of residents who hate middle class people so much that they’d rather hold the neighborhood in a hostage state of underutilized abandoned lots rather than allow new people to move in who can afford to buy homes.

  9. I only just moved into frog town a year and a half ago, I love the river and the quiet that frog town provides. I am not against development if it is done in thoughtful, informed manner, in a way that adds to our neighborhood while not creating congestion and sky high prices.
    I think that 30 36′ tall condos is excessive on a 7 lot property, this developer should not get a height variance and needs reduce the number of condos to something more conducive to the area. This architecture firm has built projects in Venice that complied with the 30′ height restrictions they should do that here as well. Only 7 guest parking spots are not adequate to cover the additional density. The streets here are narrow and are already overcrowded, more parking should be provided to offset the amount of people that will be coming here.
    We are concerned about over development in our beloved neighborhood so I think we should start a discussion about how we see the future of Frog Town. What do we expect from these developers coming here to make millions of dollars? Can we ask for improvement of the sidewalks and parks (Knox park could use some love), ask that they aid in the care and clean up of the river area adjacent to these developments? How do our neighbors want to see Frog Town grow?
    Development is going to happen. Perhaps if we start the discussion with ‘Yes, but…’ we will be able to have more control over the future of Frog Town.
    The community meeting is on July 6th!

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