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WeHo Officials Do Battle Over Apartment-to-Condo Switcharoos

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A small residential development at the center of a spat between West Hollywood's city council and its planning commission got final approval this week to go forth and become condos, reports WeHo Patch. The council has once again given its blessing to the owner of the property at 500 North Orlando Avenue to turn his new three-story, four-unit building into a condominium project, instead of the apartment building he had originally received permission for. In an effort to encourage new apartment units, West Hollywood has a simpler application process for building rental units than it does for condos. As a consequence--and who saw this coming??--developers sometimes seek permission to build apartments, only to ask to convert them to condos later on down the line. Well the planning commission had had it up to here with these shenanigans, and rejected the Orlando Avenue property owner's request to condo-ize his building in February, on a technicality. The council, unamused by the Commission, had to overturn their decision in June; state law prohibits cities from compelling property owners to rent when they want to sell. This week the saga looks to be winding down as the council reaffirmed its earlier decision, and the lot was subdivided for the condos.
· Council Confirms Approval of Orlando Ave. Condo Project [WeHo Patch]