WeHo Council to Hold Nuisance Abatement Hearing About Vacant Property on Westbourne Drive

Vacant properties in West Hollywood as of Jan. 1, 2021

UPDATE: The City Council unanimously approved the nuisance abatement for the 739 Westbourne Drive property.

Tuesday night, the West Hollywood City Council will hold the first in what will be a series of nuisance abatement hearings related to vacant properties which are not being maintained to city code and pose a public safety hazard.

At its Jan. 19 meeting, the City Council instructed Danny Rivas, the city’s code compliance manager, to move forward with nuisance abatement hearing for the “worst of the worst” vacant properties in the residential areas of the city. In many cases, transients have broken into those vacant properties and are now living there.

The “worst of the worst” of these vacant properties are those about which the sheriff’s station and code compliance officers have received the most calls for service.

“Boarded up building in our neighborhoods that have people living in then, that’s just not safe,” said Councilmember John D’Amico.

Nuisance abatement hearings are a necessary legal step to a force property owner to bring the property into compliance. Numerous fees and fines totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars can be brought against the property owners.

“It is not cost effective for an owner to maintain the property” with the fines and administrative fees and other costs connected to the property following a nuisance abatement hearing Rivas explained.

He said they can usually get a property back into compliance in 60 to 90 days via a nuisance abatement hearing, whereas if they pursue criminal or civil charges in the court system, it can take six months or longer.

Rivas presented a map of 38 vacant properties in the city, 14 of which are viewed as priorities. Of those 14, three have since been demolished. While some of the vacant properties are commercial buildings, the ones the Council is currently concerned with are in the residential areas.

739 Westbourne Drive, on southwest corner of Sherwood Drive intersection

The property the Council will hear Tuesday night is at 739 Westbourne Drive, at Sherwood Drive, in the Tri-West neighborhood. Sheriff’s deputies and/or the fire department have responded to over three dozen calls about this property in the past year. Code compliance has issued numerous fines. Several neighbors have also contacted WEHOville about the property.

It appears that transients have broken into the property and are living in the four units on the property. Arrests have been made twice with people on the property and the fire department put out a fire there on Dec. 26, 2020.

Records show that the property is owned by SEJ Properties, L.P., which is largely controlled by Beverly Hills-based JESS Enterprises, LLC. Elias Shokrian is the managing member of JESS Enterprises and the agent for the property.

Code compliance officers and sheriff’s deputies met with Elias Shokrian on Oct. 28, 2020, according to a staff report. During that meeting, officers tried to educate him on the city’s vacant property ordinance, the public safety hazard the property posed and the many calls for service officers have responded to regarding the property.

The staff report stated Shokrian “was not cooperative, became verbally belligerent with staff, and left the inspection stating, ‘he would repair the property on his terms and not the City’s’.”

Among the 19 violations the city is charging the 739 Westbourne Drive property owner are:

  • Allowing building to deteriorate and fall into disrepair including broken or missing doors or windows.
  • Failure to secure the property and the individual units.
  • Failure to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Failure to install security lighting and security cameras.
  • Failure to maintain the fence around the property.
  • Failure to remove unsafe landscaping.
  • Failure to register the property as a vacant property.

Depending on the outcome of the nuisance abatement hearing, the city can also station a security guard at the property 24 hours a day, the costs of which are added onto the many other fines and fees the owner must pay.

If the owner does not correct the problems and pay the fines/fees, the city can place a lien on the property for the expenses it has incurred connected to the property.

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ANDREW MCTIGUE
ANDREW MCTIGUE
12 days ago

The little green dot seems to be 621 North Robertson??? Can’t tell from the site given us.

ANDREW MCTIGUE
ANDREW MCTIGUE
12 days ago

Is there any discussion RE: 621 North Robertson, The LOG CABIN?

Eric Jon Schmidt
Eric Jon Schmidt
17 days ago

Needless to say, D’Amico lives a block from the property in question. He has never said anything about vacant property outside of his “bubble” which suggests to me he doesn’t care about other parts of town, just those which affect him. Its time to vote out the last John on CC, who lied about how many terms he would serve. It would also be a good idea to follow the money during his tenure. I know, for a fact, there are things he doesn’t want the public to know. We are still writing “The Book” to be released in early… Read more »

Randy
Randy
16 days ago

Good luck with that, Eric. You don’t even live here anymore, right? Regarding the property, it was a horrible nuisance. The owner had a property in Glendale, where he was sued, for not having working elevators in a building full of seniors. He is suspected in a scandal involving property tax reassessments (declination in value) with the former County Assessor. He is also the owner of the building where Gym Bar was located. The bar’s owners said he wouldn’t negotiate with them, at all. There were plenty of people wanting this property to be handled, and it has been a… Read more »

Eric Jon Schmidt
Eric Jon Schmidt
16 days ago
Reply to  Randy

I still own property in Weho.

Vigilant
Vigilant
16 days ago

When will the Eric Jon Schmidt University be opening?

Randy
Randy
17 days ago

Did the comments disappear from this site? I’ve only seen one article with one, and I believe there were comments on this article last night.

Randy
Randy
16 days ago
Reply to  James F. Mills

James, thanks!

Jeffery aubel
Jeffery aubel
17 days ago
Reply to  Randy

“The Book”, is Mike Lindell helping you? 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Rudi Logan
Rudi Logan
13 days ago
Reply to  Jeffery aubel

Eric Jon Schmidt is writing “The Book” according to his first post. You’re burning the wrong guy.

Randy
Randy
12 days ago
Reply to  Rudi Logan

Rudi, thanks. I didn’t know WTF he was talking about.

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