Palisades News Letters: Regarding the Eldercare Project

The Community Council’s Land Use Committee (LUC) and the PPCC itself voted on February 22 to reconsider the PPCC’s previous description of the proposed Eldercare project as an “appropriate use” for the Highlands site, after project opponents pointed out that the LUC and PPCC’s earlier decisions on the matter failed to consider applicable Coastal Act requirements. When the Coastal Act requirements are considered, the LUC and PPCC should find that the proposed Eldercare use is NOT appropriate for the Highlands site.

State and local maps and the Brentwood-Pacific Palisades Community Plan make crystal clear that the Highlands is in the Coastal Zone and is governed by all Coastal Act requirements, which include not only the Coastal Act itself but also the protections of the California Coastline Preservation and Recreation Plan for the Santa Monica Mountains, the Coastal Regional Interpretive Guidelines (RIGS) and the Palisades Community Plan land use policies. Here are just a few examples of restrictions from those protections that render the use and the project NOT appropriate:

Palisades Community Plan Policy Guideline 2-3.1 states that “senior citizen housing projects [must be located] in neighborhoods within reasonable walking distance of health and community facilities, services and public transportation.” The Highlands area lacks any medical or community services, and is situated miles from any public transportation, so the project fails this guideline.

Palisades Regional Guideline B-1 requires that, “Commercial establishments should be public recreation and recreation supportive or otherwise coastally related facilities” (interpreting Public Resources Code Secs. 30222 and 30255). The Eldercare project, which is a commercial facility, does not meet this guideline requirement.

PRC Sec. 30251 requires development to be visually compatible with the character of the surrounding areas. The proposed huge four-story building, which would rise over 60 feet above Palisades Drive with only a 10-foot setback, would greatly exceed the visual impact of any other building in the Highlands by a wide margin.

The developer has continually asserted that because the L.A. Municipal Code includes eldercare within the current zoning classification of the site, eldercare use is allowed “by right.” To the contrary, City zoning does NOT supersede the protections afforded by the Coastal Act and related provisions. The fundamental purpose of the Coastal Act is to ensure that state policies prevail over contrary harmful local government policies. If Coastal Act requirements are properly considered, the Eldercare project cannot be allowed to proceed.

Robert T. Flick,
Highlands Resident

(Editor’s note: The News contacted the project applicant about the Highlands letter. He replied in a February 27 email: “Mr. Flick’s citations and interpretations are inaccurate and/or not applicable.” The applicant pointed out that L.A. Zoning had reviewed the application and determined that the project was in full compliance with all applicable regulations, including the Coastal Act and CEQA.)

Palisades News welcomes all letters, which may be emailed to letters@palisadesnews.com. Please include a name, address and telephone number so we may reach you. Letters do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Palisades News.

Site of proposed development in the Highlands.
Photo: Bart Bartholomew

Proposed Palisades Highlands senior living facility Jan. 2018

6 Comments

  1. Stephen P Dickey says:

    Robert Flicks’s condo, shown in the diagram above, blocks the hillside view from the street as much or even more than the proposed project. NIMBYs at work again, shut down by the Palisades Land Use Committee this week as well.

  2. Robert Flick says:

    1. Robert Flick’s condo is not shown in the diagram above.
    2. The condos shown are not 24/7 highrise healthcare facilities like the Shram project.
    3. The mass show of the condos is inaccurate.
    4. The condos are set back much farther from the street than th 7 foot setback proposed by the project.
    5. The condos to not loom in a sold mass 40′ directly above the street (57′ above Pali Drive)
    6. The condos were built in 1979. What is done is done.
    7. The LUC and PPCC are in trouble. They are violating numerous provisions of the LA City Attorney and Fair POlitical Practices Committee requirements prohibiting conflicts of interest, and the Brown Act prohibitions on private meetings and undisclosed ex parte communications.
    8. Enforcing applicable law is not NIMBYism. Your continual support for an illegal project smacks of mob rule and developer influence. Perhaps one day we will know why you so slavishly support this carpetbagger developer.

  3. Stephen P Dickey says:

    The PPCC and it’s LUC are not city agencies and are not subject to the Brown Act.

    LA Zoning has ruled that the project is legal. I expect HUG’s appeal will be overturned.

    NIMBY attempts to assign motivations is not productive to a rational discussion of the issue.

  4. Robert Flick says:

    The PPCC and LUC cleverly try to exert the influence of a Neighborhood Council without following the rules that prohibit private meetings, undisclosed ex parte communications and conflicts of interest. There is a small, insular group within the PPCC that tries to control whatever matters they can around the Palisades, in many cases not for the benefit of the larger community.

    As to the “legality” of the project, “LA Zoning” has not ruled anything. If you were referring to the Zoning Administrator’s letter of determination, that will be considered today by the West LA Area Planning Commission. If they don’t get it right, the determination will be considered by the LA City Council and the California Coastal Commission and, if necessary, by the California trial and appellate courts.

    Requiring the developer and the City to adhere to applicable laws is not NIMBYism. It is called the rule of law, by which we live.

  5. Steve Dickey says:

    The West Los Angeles Planning Board denied your appeal by a vote of 3-0. Not agreeing with your faulty interpretation of the law.

    • Robert Flick says:

      By the way , it is the Area Planning Commission, not the “Planning Board”. Sloppy writing often connotes sloppy thinking.

      The Commissioners are political appointees who appear to be following the lead of “Neighborhoods First” Mike Bonin. Their decision does not mean my legal interpretation was faulty. We will see what the Coastal Commission has to say about the matter, and beyond that, if necessary, LA County Superior Court and California Court of Appeals. Eventually, we get out of the political scum and into venues where the law matters.

      By the way, I wonder what job has been promised to you if the “institution” (as specifically so described by developer’s counsel) ever opens. I cannot think of any other reason that you possibly could be so in favor of this project.

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