Nonprofits might get cheaper leases if they choose WeHo

Nonprofit organizations might soon have a wider selection of affordable spaces to lease if they choose to do business in West Hollywood.

A proposal headed to City Council on Monday would require all newly built, city-owned commercial or mixed-use developments to set aside a certain percentage of square footage to lease to nonprofit service providers.  

Mayor Lauren Meister and Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne, who authored the proposal, believe it will entice non-profits — many of which have been forced out of West Hollywood due to high rents or displacement — back to doing business in the city. 

The new rules would be required of projects built from the ground up (not existing buildings that are purchased or renovated) regardless of whether the development requests commercial bonuses or zoning code amendments.

These recommendations build on policies unveiled last September that would require a mandatory affordable commercial component in any new commercial or mixed-use development that requests a development agreement, specific plan, or other allowable commercial bonus that would result in additional gross floor area beyond the base zoning code allowances. 

This policy would require new developments to include a minimum percentage of the commercial square footage in the project to be set aside for affordable commercial space for small business tenants or non-profit organizations. 

One of the goals of this initiative is also to encourage BIPOC-owned,women-owned, and LGBTQ-owned businesses to open and thrive in West Hollywood.

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Pay Attention
Pay Attention
6 months ago

It would be beautiful if the city council could focus on managing the city affairs only rather than trying to solve the world’s issues.

On one hand they give variances the city’s codes when giving a CUP to any bar that the chamber stands behind because its a big sales tax payer, however, giving reduced rent to non-profit non-taxpayers is a good thing??

Whatever!

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
6 months ago
Reply to  Pay Attention

We need more rainbow crosswalks. That will solve all our issues here.

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
6 months ago

I know everyone has this idyllic vision of non-profits lining the streets, but I don’t think it’s the best thing to have too many. Like offices, they’re usually only occupied from 8:00-5:00 and non-profit people often start work at 10:00 or 11:00, and leave at 3:00 or 4:00. The rest of the day and night, it’s an empty storefront. Empty storefronts = unsafe streets!

TomSmart
TomSmart
6 months ago
Reply to  WeHo Mary!

I don’t think it specifies storefront spaces and in fact I’d think most non-profits would rather not have a storefront unless they are seeking more visibility (and homeless walking in)

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
6 months ago
Reply to  TomSmart

Oh! You’re absolutely right about that! I would think that mixed use developments normally put retail and offices on the ground floor, residential upstairs. Unless it’s a very large building.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
6 months ago

While there is some merit to this proposal, it might discourage mixed use projects which are West Hollywood’s most reliable source of affordable housing. But it seems like there are plenty of vacant store fronts, including the City’s parking structure at Kings Road and Santa Monica. Maybe that could be re-purposed for non-profit office space.

TomSmart
TomSmart
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

A sign has been posted for quite some time that Barry’s Bootcamp is moving in.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
6 months ago
Reply to  TomSmart

We keep hoping; that is an expensive site to keep vacant.
Hopefully with COVID easing up that will happen.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
6 months ago

so ridiculous.

Emilija Torbešic
6 months ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

Do you ever make any nice comments as opposed short mean spirited barbs? I think I met you once at a City Council meeting, you walk with a crutch as I recall and, quite bitter. If there is anything I can do that would cheer you up, please let me know!

WeHoLuvR
WeHoLuvR
6 months ago

Good idea

Informed Resident
Informed Resident
6 months ago
Reply to  WeHoLuvR

Not really. CAL. Civ. Code Sec1954.27. a. “No public entity shall enact any measure constituting commercial rental control, nor shall any public entity enforce any commercial rental control, whether enacted prior to or on or after January 1, 1988.” California lawyers are expected to know the law and owe a duty of candor to all courts, tribunals and legislative bodies. I have not seen this proposal but it likely is preempted by State law. Calling the California Bar anyone? The Mayor-pro-tempore needs discipline! Please stop, just stop. West Hollywood is not a state or a country, or perhaps we are–West… Read more »

Snookered?
Snookered?
6 months ago

“The Mayor-pro-tempore needs discipline!” But she keeps telling the residents she’s the only attorney on the CC. So who snookered whom?

Informed Resident
Informed Resident
6 months ago
Reply to  Snookered?

I believe the correct term is “zooming” as in “whose zoomin’ who?” Perhaps Shyne and the City Attorney can get the same defense attorney to help them in front of the bar. #Accomplice.

Last edited 6 months ago by Informed Resident
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