A Preview Of The Grinder Project

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I attended the Neighborhood Council Planning & Land Use Committee (“PLUC”) meeting last night. The owner of the property at 8521 S. Sepulveda (the former Grinder restaurant location) presented an introduction to its proposed apartment project. Below are my notes. There was a lot of information presented in a short amount of time. 🙂

Project Summary

  • This is an SB1818 project, which means that it is a high density project developed under State Law in exchange for leasing 10% of the units to low income tenants
  • The owner/developer is a family-owned company from the Valley; this is their first westside project
  • The owner was unable to acquire the JiffyLube/gas station, so the project is being built in an L-shape
  • 87 units are proposed with 8 units designated as low income
  • In exchange for the low income units, the developer is requesting:
    • An increase in FAR (floor area ratio = square footage of building to lot size) of 3:1 rather than 1.5:1 (double the allowable FAR)
    • 20% decrease in required amount of open space (6900′ instead of 8625′)
    • A Community Design Overlay (CDO) variance for 75’/ 5-stories
  • Ingress/egress is on Manchester with no frontage on 85th Place
  • 1000′ of first floor space will be devoted to two commercial spaces (required by law)
  • There is a 10′ slope change on the lot, meaning the height on Sepulveda will be 70′ and 78′ on Manchester
  • Parking is subterranean
  • There is a roof deck on the southeast side
  • Traffic Study is in process
  • State-mandated parking is 1/2 parking spot per bedroom (46 spots)

The City Planning File can be viewed here.

Public Comments

  • Water and traffic are concerns
  • Additional housing near jobs is a positive
  • Traffic study should be conducted in Fall after school is back in session rather than now
  • Large structure is going to tower over low-rise commercial and family homes on 85th Place
  • Hazardous waste from gas station/Jiffy Lube should be investigated
  • Accidents already occur with people turning from Sepulveda on to Manchester and in to the gas station lot
  • Tenants and guests of project will want to turn left on Manchester (too close to Sepulveda)
  • We already have a large pipeline of apartments coming to market in the area

PLUC Comments

  • CDO height limit is 50′ – 70-78′ is a big variance
  • Projects over a certain width require visual massing that give appearance of two buildings (not present with this project)
  • Timing is bad with Westchester already coming to grips with 5-story project on Sepulveda Eastway towering over family homes behind it
  • No plan presented for moving trucks, deliveries and emergency services access
  • PLUC wants to see a wall on the 85th Place side
  • Housing is needed, but LA is a car city and parking with this project is inadequate
  • PLUC admonished developer to work with a good traffic engineer to come up with traffic improvements

Your KHG Board will continue to monitor this project and will open a dialogue with the developer, as this project is within our boundaries and impacts our members on 85th Place. What are your concerns? Drop a comment below and your remarks will be shared with our Board.

Wondering why reader comments aren’t published? Read more here.

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