City Council changes course on Cahuenga Pass apartment development

Los Angeles /
May.May 17, 2016 02:00 PM

Developer Ben Forat isn’t happy right now.

The L.A. City Council voted Friday to reverse a 2015 decision that would have allowed him to build a 250-unit residential complex along the Cahuenga Pass. Now, Forat is seeking $30 million in damages from the city. He plans to sue. 

Things seemed like they were going well for the landowner two years ago, when he worked out a deal with then-City Councilmember Tom LaBonge. The councilmember would allow the a zone change for the lot, which is zoned for single-family homes, if Forat reserved 10 acres for green space. City Council backed this negotiation, and asked the Department of City Planning to consider amending the city general plan in order to accommodate it.

Further hearings would have been necessary before lawmakers make the final decision, but after LaBonge left the council last year, the decision was deferred.

Now, new Councilmember David Ryu is citing community opposition in seeking to restart the deliberation process over Forat’s development plans. Some local community groups said they were inadequately informed of the initial hearings regarding the development, even though they were public.

“We must work to restore trust in government,” Ryu told the L.A. Times. “And what we have before us is the kind of action and the reason why the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative is looming over our head. Lack of trust. Lack of transparency.”

The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative is a proposed ballot measure that aims to curtail “mega-developments” in L.A.

The decision Friday, according to Forat’s attorney Fred Gaines, “cut off the public process before it even started.”

Forat argued that his apartment complex would help alleviate the housing crisis as well as ease traffic.

“I gave the cow, the milk and the farm” to the city, he said. “Now they’re trying to take the farmer’s daughter too.” [LAT]Cathaleen Chen


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Jose Huizar has pleaded not guilty. (Getty, Department of Justice)
Jose Huizar federal corruption trial postponed again
Jose Huizar federal corruption trial postponed again
Jose Huizar and Raymond Chan (Getty, U.S. Department of Justice)
Huizar and LA developer deny charges in pay-to-play scheme
Huizar and LA developer deny charges in pay-to-play scheme
Photo illustration of Mike Feuer, Daniel Yukelson and Judge Dean Pregerson (Getty, iStock)
LA eviction moratorium withstands landlords’ legal challenge
LA eviction moratorium withstands landlords’ legal challenge
L.A. businesses can now deny service to any patron not wearing a mask
LA businesses may deny service to those not wearing masks
LA businesses may deny service to those not wearing masks
Jose Huizar and Los Angeles courthouse at 350 W 1st Street (Getty, Google Maps)
Huizar-approved projects hum along as pol’s trial set for fall
Huizar-approved projects hum along as pol’s trial set for fall
Daniel Yukelson of Apartment Association of Greater L.A. (Credit: iStock)
Landlords fuming over sexual harassment “reports”
Landlords fuming over sexual harassment “reports”
Mitchell Englander (Credit: Lilly Lawrence/Getty Images)
Former LA city councilman reaches plea deal in real estate corruption probe
Former LA city councilman reaches plea deal in real estate corruption probe
LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin (Credit: Twitter and iStock)
LA City Council moves to extend eviction moratorium to 12 months
LA City Council moves to extend eviction moratorium to 12 months
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...