Monday, September 30, 2013

Crucial Vote On Massive New Abbot Kinney Hotel Project Scheduled For Wednesday

Abrams' developing partners Greg Reitz and Steve Edwards press the flesh for their "independent boutique hotel"
at the Abbot Kinney Street Festival

A crucial vote is going to be held by the Venice Neighborhood Council's Land Use and Planning Committee on the 92-room Abrams' hotel project Wednesday evening. Now is the time to make your voice heard.


If you haven't already done so, please write an email to the following people. Tell them you're opposed to the project as planned, and that at a minimum it must conform to the Venice Specific Plan and provide adequate parking for the site's use.

VNC Land Use and Planning Committee: 
LA City Councilman Mike Bonin: 
CD11 Planner Tricia Keane: 
Venice For Change: 

The project's address is 1033 S Abbott Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291: It must be included at the top of any correspondence.

WHEN: October 2 at 6:45 pm  
WHERE: Oakwood Rec Center - 767 7th Avenue (corner of 7th and Oakwood)

Numbers matter. We believe LUPC members will vote in favor of the project as proposed unless we convince them otherwise. At the last meeting, Abrams offered to carve 4 units of affordable housing out of space reserved for two of the hotel rooms. But we've since learned the only reason this was offered was to invoke SB1818, a state law that allows developers to bypass community approval to build bigger and higher by offering affordable housing units. And we know this because a LUPC member has conveyed this sentiment as he lobbying on the hotel's behalf with city officials!

So we need as many people to attend as possible.  Get there early and fill out a speaker card.

Some bullet points to consider:
view from Abbot Kinney/Westminster
Developer Dan Abrams and a group of yet-to-be-named investors are proposing a 92-room mega-development that includes a 100-seat restaurant/bar and luxury day spa and which will stretch an entire city block between Broadway and Westminster.
  • Abrams and his group are asking for precedent-setting exemptions to the Venice Specific Plan for mass, scale, and height. Among other things, the developers are asking to build up to 43 feet (the VSP calls for 35 feet) and add a precedent-breaking 4th story. If allowed to go through as proposed, other developers will be quick to pounce. A Beverly Hills developer recently purchased the property on Abbott Kinney that includes Hal's and Just Tantau for $20 million and Arnold Schwarzenegger is in the early planning stages to develop his corner property at Main and Abbot Kinney. Already he's asking for height exemptions to the VSP and to grandfather in 40 non-existent parking spaces.  
  • The project as proposed will create permanent gridlock. In 2007, DOT estimated another, smaller proposed hotel project for Abbot Kinney would generate 757 net new car trips a day. The Abrams hotel as proposed would be nearly twice the size and would presumably generate nearly twice the traffic. Traffic from Abrams' hotel would back up traffic on Abbot Kinney, Broadway and Electric as cars, taxis, trash trucks and delivery vehicles cue up to service the hotel and deposit its guests.
view from Electric/Broadway
  • Hotel patrons and employees will park for free on our streets. If you live anywhere near the hotel you can forget about parking in front of your home as inadequate parking forces hotel patrons and employees to hunt for street parking in our neighborhoods. Worse, since we live in the Coastal Zone, the California Coastal Commission will not allow us to have residents-only permit parking to mitigate the hotel's overflow.   

So folks, if you don't want this to happen, now is the time to step up and make your voice heard. Tell all your friends. Write to city officials and show up on Wednesday!

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