Meeting Date: 09/21/15 06:30 PM

Meeting Type: Regular

Location: Las Palmas Senior Center

Details: To Be Announced
I.          Call to order

II.         Approval of July 13, 2015 minutes

III.        Area 3 Planning and Land Use:

I.          Call to order

II.         Approval of July 13, 2015 minutes

III.        Area 3 Planning and Land Use:

1850 Cherokee Planning Department case number: ZA-2015-2683-CU-ZV-ZAA. Applicant’s representative will present. Applicant seeks to change an existing apartment building into an 18-unit boutique hotel. Project needs a CUP for operation of a hotel in R4 zone, variance to provide off-site parking 925 feet away, and a variance to allow the continued use of a non-conforming rear yard on the property as a 15-foot offset would require partial demolition of the building. Possible motion and vote.
 

IV.        Area 3 Support

Mutt Mitts: MOTION: That Area 3 ask the full board to approve the expenditure of $300 for the purpose of buying bags to fill the “Mutt Mitt Station." Possible motion and vote.
 

V.         Area 3 items of note

  1. Update: the NF Stokes Mitchell House at 1905 Grace Ave. – The Hollywood Heritage nominated property at 1905 Grace Ave., the NF Stokes Mitchell House has been approved by the Cultural Heritage Commission for monument status. The nomination now moves forward to the City Council for vote.
  2.  
  3. Other

VI.        Public Comments: comments from the public on agenda items and non-agenda items within the Committee’s subject matter jurisdiction.

VII.       Decision on next meeting date(s)

VIII.      Adjournment
 

The following is a draft of the minutes. It has not yet been approved by Area 3 Committee vote.

Minutes

I.          Call to order:  6:27 PM; 8 in attendance, including chairperson.

II.         Approval of July 13, 2015 minutes: Approved unanimously.

III.        Area 3 Planning and Land Use:

1850 Cherokee Planning Department case number: ZA-2015-2683-CU-ZV-ZAA. Applicant’s representative will present. Applicant seeks to change an existing apartment building into an 18-unit boutique hotel. Project needs a CUP for operation of a hotel in R4 zone, variance to provide off-site parking 925 feet away, and a variance to allow the continued use of a non-conforming rear yard on the property as a 15-foot offset would require partial demolition of the building. Possible motion and vote.

1850 Representative(s): Company filed with City in June to convert existing building with 18 apartments into small boutique hotel with 24 units. Request to provide portion of required parking off site. Small building in the back, so asking for reduction in yard for change in use. Small driveway into the parking. Two units in the back over parking..
Convert the existing 16 units to hotel, some two bedrooms. Some with kitchen. Back two units over the parking will be converted to three units. Entire parking will be redone with 10 parking spaces including handicap. All hotel drop-off will occur in the rear of the property and walk to the lobby in the front. Handicap ramp will be constructed coming off of the sidewalk with lift in the back to get to the lobby. Twelve new bicycle parking spaces will be included. Projects that people will arrive by Uber, taxi or Lyft, rather than use car rentals.

Code requires 21 spaces. Ten will be onsite. Other spaces have been secured off site at Franklin and Highland. Primarily used for staff and overflow parking.
The property received entitlements in 2009 for 39 housing units which are still valid. The idea is to keep and maintain the property structure. Only construction will be the change in buildings and yard.

PRG has been hired to restore the property. They specialize in historic properties. Six in the portfolio. Many built in 20s and 30s. Palm Springs, Laguna Beach, San Louis Obispo. Firm likes that it is a smaller property. Amenities for the guests do not include a bar or pool. The PRG guest base look for unique, historic properties that are tranquil, not a pool and bar. Would like to preserve and maintain the exterior. Will engage landscape consultant to beautify and make more lush. Interior: new bathrooms, new electrical, new energy savings.

SH: What was the decision to move from tenants to hotel?
1850: Instead of tearing down, why not restore and keep and convert to something special. There was no real financing available in 2009. PRG convinced owner to go with a hotel rather than build.

SH: What do you mean by water adjustments?
1850: Buiding has mostly been upgraded to copper pipes. Adjustments for water savings. Building will have to be renovated to code. It was built in 1939.

SH: Originally thought, no, no, no. Lives next door. Every building on the block is running Air BnBs. Thinks this is a viable option for neighborhood. Everyone is transient coming in and out of BnBs. This is more viable. The work in the handouts looks magnificent. Now that he has seen what it is, it may be a nice addition. Re: parking. Will you level it off or will it be a higher grade?
1850: Parking is stepped, terraced. The plan is to make it flat. Regarding AirBNB, you don’t get onsite management. There are benefits the entire street gets having someone there everyday.

SH: Parking spaces
1850: 10 on site, 11 off site. The off site parking is just north of the Hollywood United Methodist Church. With the entitlements, have to show every year that there is adequate parking. Many of the properties by PRG travel by different ways. PRG concerned.

SH: Heavy tourist, what about security, events?
1850: Not planning on having events.

SH: Would you put that in writing?
1850: We would be happy to do it.

SH: This will be first hotel north of Yucca. Other companies can come in and ask for variances. With the surge for variances. Operators should know that there are six buidings coming into the area, being built. One was Marriott will be having issues of parking. Glad that they are handling the parking. If guests and staff are parking on the other side of Highland. Franklin and Highland are graded F. Worst in the city. With development and events, parking will be extremely difficult. The property is in the Alquist Priolo Zone. For emergency purposes. Since the building is on a hill, how are you going to handle guests coming in with the stop sign at the top of the Cherokee with difficult sightlines. Waze and Google Maps are pushing everyone through the neighborhood to avoid Bowl, Ford, Cahuenga pass build-up?
1850: On use, this is a unique location, a micro neighborhood. Very close to Hollywood and Highland, just outside the 1500 foot radius. The Hollywood Community Plan as it exists allows commercial in R4/R5 as long as the FAR is less than 1. Net impact of trips is very small because it is not new construction. DOT shows existing land use is one more trip generation. But the operators believe most people don’t come to their properties in cars.

SH: But commercial use in code is not hotel. Why asking for a CUP?
1850: This CUP is for hotels within 500 ft. of residential. City code because quasi residential/quasi hotel, and some hotels are intensive: operating hours and different kinds of operations such as trash pickup require the business operates in a way to which it is supposed. City acknowledges guest rooms are not traditional business. Guests check in once and stay for a few days. Places like Hollywood, hotel residents will walk around.
SH(s): They drive.
1850: Where to?
SH: The beach, Universal if they don’t take the Metro, shopping on Rodeo in Beverly Hills, Wilshire. It depends what they come in for.
1850: Zoning code allows for non-traditional use.

SH: Happy with the way it looks. However concerned of the cumulative effects of all of the buildings.

SH: You said it was historic. Have you reached out to Hollywood Heritage?
1850: The CRA and Hollywood Heritage cleared it for demolition in 2009. There is an historic report and clearance according to the settlement agreement. PRG said ‘historic’ meant ‘older.’
1850: Square footage of room may go down to 300 ft. When the building was built range from 195 ft to 556 ft with average size 250 ft. The structure was originally built as hotel and apartment. Eight of the units currently are without a kitchen.

SH: How do you get cars getting in and out? A tourists knowledge of the area is different than residents, with one way in and out.
1850: On other properties run by PRG, rarely have cars coming in and out.

SH: Have you taken into consideration the Senior Center and Yucca Community center populations with the children and seniors.
1850: No sale of alcohol so there would not be noise from that. Possibly having a bar in the room. Have not made a firm determination on it. Some of the rooms have kitchens and kitchenettes.

SH: Some of the units still have kitchens?
1850: Six units will have kitchen.

SH: If there are kitchens, guests can stock up on alcohol.
1850: Personal note, one of the presenters has children and have not stayed in a traditional hotel for 6 years. What the presenters have seen is people wanting to walk around the neighborhood, especially Europeans.

SH: If you do ask for CUB, you will come back to the NC.

SH: Lives next to Motel 6. Totally ebb and flow. Sometimes it is full of people from Europe. When it is empty, the locals will take over. Anything tending to be more upscale is an improvement over the Motel 6.

SH: Lighting and Security. Is the lighting on the street sufficient for the guests?
1850: Would have to redo the lighting program to make sure well illuminated for the guests. And also have security cameras. Security for the guests is a huge requirement. With online travel advisories, like Trip Advisor, very mindful of. One of the advantages of being a hotel and not an apartment is the security on site.

Chair: Do you have any questions for the neighborhood?
1850: Comments stated are heard all the time. Encouraged for the possible enthusiasm. Buildings have a life cycle. It should be refreshing to see a revitalization rather than a demolition.

SH: Would the four story parking structure on Cherokee be a better option?
1850: On an annual basis, have to prove there is parking. The parking lease can be moved.

SH: Thank you for the quality of the project. The concern is that other projects will ask for variance, but not bring the quality.

SH: Will your hotel allow dogs? And will they provide poop bags.
1850: Yes, will allow dogs. Poop bags is something they would consider.

Motion put forward: To move forward to PLUM of the HHWNC the project as presented with the additional restriction of no onsite events, proper lighting on the street and onsite Security in writing from the operator/developer.

Passed unanimously.

 
IV.      Area 3 Support

Mutt Mitts: MOTION: That Area 3 ask the full board to approve the expenditure of $300 for the purpose of buying bags to fill the “Mutt Mitt Station." Possible motion and vote.
 
Motion passed unanimously.

V.         Area 3 items of note

  1. Update: the NF Stokes Mitchell House at 1905 Grace Ave. – The Hollywood Heritage nominated property at 1905 Grace Ave., the NF Stokes Mitchell House has been approved by the Cultural Heritage Commission for monument status. The nomination now moves forward to the City Council for vote.
  2. Other
  • 1751 is building six stories. City Planning did receive the notes form the Area .
  • Rita continues to not come or respond. The pull of the response.
  • SH: They started before. Will supply witness that started before.
  • Chair: Hollywood and Highland will have diagonal cross walk installed Oct. 4.
  • SH: Sees that it works in Pasadena, but not in Hollywood. Feels like a disaster waiting to happen.
  • Digital Billboards may be grandfathered in under City Planning Commission. Hearing in October.
  • Yucca Community Center requests support for Halloween Spooktacular. Last year HHWNC supplied the Jumper. SH: May have a connection to help as well and will ask.

VI.        Public Comments: comments from the public on agenda items and non-agenda items within the Committee’s subject matter jurisdiction.

  • Person in Cabo attack is coming out of como. Video will show that he began fight.
  • Personal attacks happening on Cherokee.

VII.       Decision on next meeting date(s) – Not decided.

VIII.      Adjournment: 7:26 PM

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