New housing complex proposed in Palisades
By Kai McNamee
A mixed-use housing complex may be coming to Pacific Palisades, but some Pacific Palisades Community Council members are moving to oppose the project.
According to an environmental report submitted to the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, the proposed project would redevelop a former Jack in the Box on Sunset Boulevard. The 15,000-square-foot property could soon be the site of a five-story mixed-use complex containing 40 apartments — mostly consisting of 1-bedroom units — and 2,900 square feet of retail space. Applicant California Food Management, LLC, which also operates under the name Burger King, expects construction to last 16 months.
Three members of the Pacific Palisades Community Council are co-sponsoring a motion to oppose the project.
The motion urges the PPCC Board to “oppose the issuance of a Coastal Development Permit (CDP)” on grounds that the project violates the California Coastal Act, a state law that encourages local governments to preserve coastal resources.
Under the Coastal Act, construction in any Coastal Zone requires a permit — the act addresses issues of shoreline access, “scenic and visual qualities,” landform alteration and more. The act requires all development in the Coastal Zone to be “sited, designed and landscaped to be visually compatible and integrated with the character of surrounding neighborhoods or areas.”
Reza Akef, one of the cosponsors and a PPCC representative for Area 8, says that the project’s architecture is not compatible with the surrounding area. Akef thinks the project could be improved with a terraced design — buildings in the area “don’t just shoot up” five floors, he said; similar projects in the area have used steps in elevation to be more visually compatible with their surroundings. “Pacific Palisades is not a skyscraper community…There’s a lot you can do to blend [the project] into the community.”
According to the motion, the project “would present a bleak streetscape and an imposing, monolithic facade along the south side of Sunset Blvd.”
“The point of the motion is to address the core principles under the Coastal Act the developer should have considered when contemplating the design of the building with his architect,” Akef said. “We should not allow a new precedent to be established with this building.”
The motion urges the City or Coastal Commission to approve the permit on the condition that modifications are made to the building’s height and design; the motion suggests lowering the building to three or four stories and reducing the number of dwelling units.
The motion is scheduled to be on the agenda for the PPCC’s August 22 agenda.
California Food Management, LLC could not be reached for comment.