When at first a Koreatown condo project did not succeed in getting approved, it resolved to try, try again. Developer Robert Neman initially asked the city for variances to the zoning code that would allow him to build the project at Harvard and Eighth to be denser (131 units instead of the allowed 96) and with less parking (202 spots instead of the 309 required) than would ordinarily be required; he also wanted to be "spared from rules dealing with bicycle parking, building setbacks and the structure's size," the LA Times says. (Spared!) When that didn't work out, Neman proposed a re-thinking for the project that transformed the condos into apartments. That shrinks the number of required parking spaces from 309 to about 200—exactly how many Neman wanted to put in in the first place.
The city's zoning rules require new condo developments to provide parking for the guests of condo owners, but "For reasons that officials couldn't clearly explain," there are no such rules requiring that apartments provide the same. And once Neman adds those accursed bike parking spots, he'll be able to kick even more parking spaces to the curb.
This block of Koreatown is one of the neighborhood's worst when it comes to street-sweeping parking tickets; neighbors worry that a new development that doesn't provide enough space for tenant parking will exacerbate a street-parking situation that's already pretty packed. (Their strong resistance to the project was a factor in getting those exceptions denied before.) But Neman's project is also making enemies in the neighborhood because it's going to be taking out existing structures with 44 rent-controlled apartments to put in what locals have said are 131 luxury units. Though the developer is considering putting aside some units for low-income tenants, they haven't yet said how many, and it's probably not going to be 44.
· Koreatown development stirs parking concerns [LAT]
· Condos...in Koreatown? [BLA]