Palms Project approved in fascinating 3-2 decision

Meister began the deliberations laying out a case to support the appeal. D’Amico followed. But then, in a stunning 3-2 vote, the younger generation of West Hollywood’s City Council pushed back against neighborhood opposition and paved the way for construction of a new assisted living facility for senior citizens on Palm Avenue.

The project includes a new four-story, 33,460-square-foot senior congregate care housing facility with 48 units and a one-level subterranean parking garage using a Senior Housing density bonus.

The Palms Project had received approval from the Planning Commission but was met with fierce pushback from neighbors such as Wail Bushara, who appealed the decision on behalf of the “Friends of Palm Avenue.”

The two seniors on the council — John D’Amico and Lauren Meister — voted against the largest senior assisted living facility to be introduced for West Hollywood since cityhood. Both argued against the project to start deliberations.

Mayor Lindsey Horvath joined Councilmembers John Erickson and Sepi Shyne in denying the appeal and allowing the project to proceed.

D’Amico stretched to overturn the vote and insert two affordable units to upset the deliberations and find a way to unanimous consensus. But the net result would have been a partial overturning of the Planning decision and might have caused litigation against the City.

Shyne, who is a business attorney, cited the strong case against the city in voting to deny the appeal and upholding the Planning Commission approval. Erickson accused the appellant of sloppy work. Horvath was the deciding vote in approving the Project.

The arguments from residents got very personal, arguing that Historic Planning Commissioner Edward Levin was conflating roles as the architect of the project.

Edward Levin, who is a member of the Historic Preservation Commission, did not participate or contact staff about the project throughout the Historic Preservation Commission process associated with this project and recused himself from the HPC public hearing on the matter. Therefore, there is no violation of the Political Reform Act, and Section 1090 did not apply —Mr. Levin recused himself from the Historic Commission voting, resulting in a 3-3 split. Levin was appointed to the commission by Mayor Horvath.

This project is expected to be ready for occupancy in late 2024 or early 2025.

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jason
jason
14 days ago

What’s the address of the proposed site?

Val
Val
15 days ago

Place for rich senile men is encroaching on people who voted for rich senile men. Full circle!

JJ1
JJ1
20 days ago

We have a city council that no longer listens to the people that put them in their seats. Disgustingly disappointing. Vote. Them. Out.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
20 days ago

This is getting out of hand.

Randy
Randy
20 days ago

Michael, I watched the entire hearing. As Larry stated in his earlier op-ed, it was not the decision of the City Council to do anything other than to see if the Planning Commission broke the law, or did anything out of turn. They are not “Planning Commission 2.0.” While I sympathize with local residents, and their gripes, this has gone through the Planning Commission and that is where those issues should have been decided. Erickson, Shyne and Horvath all clearly stated that this was about due diligence on the Planning Commission’s decision, and if they broke any rules, or did… Read more »

Roy Oldenkamp
Roy Oldenkamp
18 days ago
Reply to  Randy

Actually, that is incorrect. The appeal was not that narrow, and included new evidence (Read the appeal and watch the statements of FOPA), as well as the obvious conflict of the architect of record on the project, a city commissioner, presenting before the Planning Commission. This places a burden on PC decisions, as they have to choose to vote AGAINST a fellow commissioner. Also, Planning Commission ignored in general the shade study results of the negative declaration, citing extreme shadow on the possibly historic Betty Way, a cul de sac of one story cottages directly behind the immense new proposed… Read more »

Darts McCool
Darts McCool
17 days ago
Reply to  Randy

“Not to rehash the merits of it being on that street, traffic issues, distance between other properties, etc.. ‘ This is exactly what City Council is for. I have watched many, many Council meetings over the years when “street, traffic issues, distance between other properties, etc.. ” were ironed out in Council meetings, with city staff making presentations and running studies. The 3 just wanted the project no matter what, and that’s what they did using the Planning Commission decision as cover. Just wait for when the 3 don’t want a project so they vote in opposition to what the Planning Commission… Read more »

Michael
Michael
20 days ago

This is now WOKE-HO. With the three politically correct political hacks voting yes. Owned by developers but pushing their own WOKE idiotic ideas.

Darts McCool
Darts McCool
17 days ago
Reply to  Michael

Pretty much nails it.

Last edited 17 days ago by Darts McCool
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