It seems all the Echo Park news these days can be summed up in just one controversial word: Development. We’ve got a 70+ unit senior housing center going up on Glendale Blvd. and Park Avenue, a battle with Barlow Hospital over selling land for a potential 888-unit complex, a rotting structure left behind by developers at Chicken Corner, and a 64-unit complex planned for Sunset and Rosemont Avenue. Those plans plus a lot of promises, promises, promises, and if the Durbin Project on Chicken Corner is an example of how things will go in the future, Echo Park residents will have to start getting involved, well, yesterday.
Sunset Flats, the 64-unit complex planned for Sunset Blvd. and Rosemont Avenue, was (unfortunately) approved by the neighborhood council late last month despite opposition from residents. The site will be where the former Community Garden was located (remnants of the planting still exist) and will destroy 6 existing structures (11 units) in order to build. The whole structure well stretch along 2223-2235 Sunset Blvd, and back to the residential neighborhood of 2216-2218 Elsinore Street.
Architect Jay Vanos has been a regular at Neighborhood Council meetings (attending eight meetings in the past 2.5 years), but did not accept invitations from the Echo Park Improvement Association, which also regularly deals with land-use issues, to meet with other community members and address additional concerns.
Despite the destruction of 11 units of housing to build the complex, the project would include 10 units for low-income residents. The most recent design change proposed at a Neighborhood Council meeting included stepping back the tallest parts of the two buildings so that, on street level, the height of the project won’t overshadow the sidewalk and seem, well, too big. There is also now parking as part of the project, but with access along Elsinore Street.
A lot of residents are focusing on the isue with just the size of the project itself. But what’s even more shocking is what The Eastsider LA reported following the Neighborhood Council meeting on the project:
If some Echo Park residents thought the 64-unit project was too big, Vanos said it could have been even bigger. The developer could build 127 units on the property with the necessary approvals. In fact, Vanos said he presented another proposal that would not require special city approvals to the office of Councilman Eric Garcetti. He said he was advised by the council office not to show those plans in part because they would be ‘provocative.’
Yikes. My first thought is that 127 units just wouldn’t happen. My second thought is that the architect shouldn’t be using it as a justification for 64 units, but that’s just how I feel personally.
If you aren’t happy about the development in this part of Echo Park, the website Echo Park Life is asking for help objecting to the project. There will be a public hearing on Monday, November 22 at 11:00 am at City Hall in Downtown, and is open to the public. You can also write a letter if you’re unable to attend, and feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for talking points if you’d like some help.
And really, regardless of whether or not you agree with this project, now’s your time to get involved in what happens in Echo Park!
Monday, November 22, 2010 at 11:00 am
Los Angeles City Hall
200 North Spring Street (Entrance on Main Street between Temple Street and 1st Street)
10th floor, Room 1020
For more info: Rogelio Flores 213/ 978-1478 email@example.com
Los Angeles Department of City Planning
Community Planning Bureau
200 North Spring Street. Los Angeles CA 90012
Case # CPC-2009-3488-DB-SPR