Last week in our Rumblings & Bumblings, we once again looked in at the proposed Sunset Millenium project in West Hollywood and once again, learned nothing. But this week is a whole new game. An anonymous but reliable tipster points us towards this order from the Court of Appeals and lets us know who to blame for the holdup: The Grafton and Mondrian Hotels. What we learn, in a nutshell, if we are correctly deciphering the legalese (we're barely conversant in English so bare with us):
· The original mixed-use project was approved in 1999, with the first phase (the "West Parcel") already completed and not at issue.
· With changing market conditions, the developer reconsidered the "Middle Parcel" and "East Parcel" and replaced planned office space with residential and hotel use on revised proposals. The revised project includes "two 10-story, 100-foot high hotels (with a total of 296 rooms), two 9-story, 100-foot high residential condominium buildings (total of 190 units) and restaurant and retail uses." One of those hotels was supposed to be a W.
· Blah Blah Blah EIRs, blah blah blah revised EIRs to include additional categories, blah blah blah City released the draft EIR for public review in 2004, blah blah blah City determined that "recirculation of the draft EIR was not required."
· Fast forward to April of 2005, when the final EIR is certified and the project is approved.
Then the lawsuits begin! Woohoo! Citing concerns about "the adequacy of the project’s environmental review" the Grafton and the Mondrian Hotels, along with the citizen's group SOS Save the Sunset Strip Coalition (we can't find a web site for these guys so if anyone has more info, we're all ears), filed petitions to overturn the City's certification of the EIR. In March of 2006, the trial court handed those three the smackdown and denied their petitions.
And thus we land in appeals hell. And guess what - the appeals court upheld the original ruling. Thus, according to our tipster, as long as there is no appeal to the CA Supreme Court, "there should be movement soon." Hooray! Yet another place on the Strip to buy $14 cocktails in a hotel lounge.