Jul 30, 2014

Public Meeting on Palm Ave. Condo Project Set for Wednesday

The property owner and architects will discuss their proposal to build condos over existing vintage bungalows.

Public Meeting on Palm Ave. Condo Project Set for Wednesday

An information session about a proposed condominium development project is scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m., according to a public notice from the city of West Hollywood. The meeting will take place in the front yard of 923 Palm Ave.

The meeting, which the city requires project applicants to host, is open to anyone interested in learning about the property owner's plans to demolish three vintage bungalows that were built in the early 1900s and replace them with two four-story, 12-unit condo complexes. In addition to 923, 927 and 931 are the two other Palm Avenue properties that may face demolition.

Property owner David Vayner, a West Hollywood resident, has attempted to gain Planning Commission approval for the condo project since 2005. 

"Financially it's not supporting itself ... it's very old," Vayner said of the Craftsman homes.

"It's a very, very beautiful project and it's good for everybody—for the city, for the neighborhood and for us also," he added.

Some residents have expressed opposition to demolishing classic Craftsman architecture. 

"Looking at these houses, we get a glimpse into the world of what [the city] looked like at the turn of the century and the beginning of modern-day West Hollywood," said Kate Eggert. "There's no need to tear down these houses."

Allegra Allison said she didn't understand why the homes were not included in the city's last survey of historic building.  

"I believe that two of them were in the original survey," Allison said. "Are they less historic now? If, as according to the assessor's maps, the houses were built in 1902, they are certainly historic."

Eggert said two of the homes were built in 1902 and the third was built in 1913.

Jennifer Alkire, an associate planner with the West Hollywood Community Development Department, said the plans that Vayner and architectural firm Uriu & Associates have submitted for consideration are "extremely preliminary."

Community Development staff and the project applicants are "still working on hammering out what would go forward to the Planning Commission eventually," Alkire said.

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