Caruso Letter of Decision Revised

By SUE PASCOE

Editor

 

09-letter of decisionOn March 31, the City Planning Department sent a Letter of Decision, regarding the Caruso project to the City Land Use Commission. This was the first step in dividing the city parcels in order for the project to move forward.

A day later, a revised letter was sent out with the following note: “The advisory agency hereby rescinds the LOD Dated March 31, 2016 and hereby issues a new LOD with amended conditions and findings.”

The only changes found were on page 10 and page 32. The following paragraphs were crossed out:

“f. Employee Shuttle: Prior to recordation, subdivider shall provide a remote employee shuttle service program for implementation during the holiday season (from 3rd week of November through January 7 of each year). The remote employee shuttle service program shall identify implementation entity (for example subdivider or any business association), employee pick-up/drop-off location(s), route, and service hours. Subdivider may modify the frequency of shuttle trips and employee pick-up and drop-off location(s) on a yearly basis as needed. All employees shall be notified of this holiday season remote employee shuttle service program, so on-site parking demand can be reduced during the timeframe indicated in this condition. The program shall be approved by the Director of Planning/Advisory Agency and placed in the administrative record.

“g. TDM. Prior to recordation, subdivider shall consult with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Agency (Metro). Subdivider shall adopt a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program. Components of such a program would be effective in reducing vehicle demand and peak hour trips associated with the project.

“Note: to clear this condition subdivider shall provide a list of strategies which will be considered for implementation.”

On page 32, the following conditions were eliminated:

“The subject provides vehicular parking spaces and bicycle parking spaces per the Specific Plan. The project will provide 470 vehicular parking spaces, including both customer and employees. The applicant will require all employees who drive a car to park onsite. It is unknown the number of employees who will be employed and the number of holiday season employees who will be employed each year.

“The proposed parking does not particularly address parking demand during Holiday Season. The project parking may be insufficient during holiday season as standard practice is to hire temporary employees during the holiday season.

“Thus, an employee shuttle and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program are included in the conditions of approval. The TDM Program in conjunction with a shuttle to transport employees to and from an off-site location would reduce onsite parking demand.”

Liz Jaeger, spokesperson for Rick Caruso, explained to the News in an April 7 email: “The LOD required an off-site employee parking shuttle for the holidays which is not necessary, and the city concurred.”

In a letter to a resident, Michael Gazzano, who is Caruso’s Palisades Village project director, added: “The revised LOD does not delete the requirement that employees park on site, as that was never a requirement in the original LOD.

“Separate from the LOD, we are including a requirement in our leases with tenants that all employees must park in the structure and we will enforce. This is something that the city would not be able to enforce. To further protect nearby residents, we have offered to help support a permit parking program if that is what the community wants.

“The revised LOD did remove the holiday parking shuttle because the city cannot require surplus parking in addition to what is required by code. Again, this is something we are voluntarily doing, but the city can’t enforce it.”

The News contacted the City Planning Department on April 1 and received the following answer: “I will forward your response to the Deputy Advisory Agency and the City Planner.”

On April 12, City Planners Jose Romero-Navarro and Griselda Gonzales and Councilman Mike Bonin’s office were contacted, asking for their comment. No one had responded by press time.

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