A lawyer for Amit Apel has contested allegations https://wehoville.com/2015/09/22/weho-planning-commission-approves-project-by-allegedly-unlicensed-architect/
that he is working on a project proposed for 948-954 San Vicente Blvd. without a license required by the California Board of Architecture (CAB).
In an email message to WEHOville, Yana Henriks of the McMurray Henriks law firm said that the project was submitted by Amit Apel Design Inc. and not Apel as an individual. Henriks said that while Apel is not a licensed architect, his business partner, Michael MacLaren, does have an architecture license.
“The California legislature has expressly permitted the provision of professional architectural services through a business in which a license architect is collaborating with an unlicensed person,” Henriks said in her email.
Ed Levin, a West Hollywood architect, questioned the WeHo Planning Commission’s approval of the San Vicente project at the City Council meeting last Monday. Levin suggested that the city’s Community Development Department check to ensure that a designer be licensed before allowing him to proceed with filing for a permit for a building project. Levin also recommended that the City Council rescind approval of the 948-950 San Vicente Blvd. project. City Councilmember John Heilman also asked city staff to look into the situation.
Several other local architects contacted WEHOville to raise questions about Apel’s involvement with the project, but they asked that they not be identified.
Apel was found guilty by the CAB of involvement in other West Hollywood projects for which he was supposed to have had a license. The CAB’s website states that in 2011 it issued “a four-count administrative citation that included a $5,000 civil penalty to Amit Apel, an unlicensed individual … Apel offered to design a residential condominium of at least 16 units and a residential condominium of at least seven units located in West Hollywood, California. Apel subsequently prepared design and preliminary construction documents for each project. Apel paid the civil penalty, satisfying the citation. “
The citation apparently was referring to a 14-unit condo project that Apel proposed to build on property at 1136-1142 N. La Cienega Blvd. after demolishing two existing single-family homes. Apel also had announced plans for a six-unit condo project on West Knoll Drive.
Repeat offenses need stronger punishment than tiny fines. Like maybe a 5 year ban from future weho developments? The fines are nothing to big money developers. For example, across the street from this is a condo under construction. The workers park illegally in red/hydrant and regularly block driveways of apartments. The same vehicles and equipment have been ticketed DAILY and the developer cited twice for having cranes blocking driveways. They do not care. The same cars park in the Same spots and the tickets are just paid. When parking enforcement was asked at what point are repeat offenders towed, their… Read more »
My opinion here is not on the merits of this person’s qualifications and involvement in Weho developments. But a $5,000 fine is not a very big punishment for this type of action. There needs to be a larger deterrent to warn others that this behavior is not acceptable.
This is my personal opinion but I think the Planning Commission should check the qualifications of any person submitting plans to them before they approve a project to make sure a licensed architect is part of the project.