Santa Monica-based firm Dynamic Developments filed plans with the city in June to construct a five-story mixed use project at the intersection of Western and Franklin in Los Feliz. Now, some nearby residents are trying to convince the city to downsize the project.
An online petition says the building’s size is “completely out of character and style for the neighborhood.” It also notes that other nearby commercial buildings are no more than three stories.
Set to replace an existing Valero station and a pair of small residential buildings, the proposed building is taller and more dense than local zoning rules allow. The developer is asking the city for permission for extra height in exchange for setting aside 16 of the project’s 96 units for very low-income tenants (those making less than 50 percent of median income in the area).
It’s not uncommon for developers to request zoning variances like that, particularly in areas accessible to public transit. The project in question would be located less than a quarter-mile from the Hollywood/Western subway station.
The petition calls on the Planning Commission to reject the requested density bonus, limiting the project to 52 total units (in which case, units for low-income tenants would be unlikely).
It was written by Ron Ostrow, who appears to be the former president of the Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council. He argues that the project should be blocked based on the congestion it could bring to the area.
“The traffic at this intersection is already over saturated, with a long history of traffic accidents,” his petition says. “Adding 96 units ... and commercial space with 123 parking spaces is going to choke this already heavily impacted intersection.”
In an emailed statement, neighbor Timothy Ferencz tells Curbed that “the project as proposed is a terrible idea.” He maintains that it “will block light, views and air to any and all of the surrounding buildings.”