Beverly Hills Council axes development on LA border

“I’ve dealt with a lot, but never anything close to this. Ever.”

Jan.January 13, 2017 02:41 PM
Rendering of an earlier version of the Oakhurst development (Beverly Hills Planning), Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch (Adam Southard)

Beverly Hills neighborhood activists came out victorious against Los Angeles in a multi-year fight over a proposed condo project on Thursday. After much ado, the Beverly Hills City Council unanimously voted down the project at 332-336 Oakhurst Drive.

It all started when developer Terry Moore had a simple wish: to build a 26-unit condo development on a plot of land that bisects the border between Beverly Hills and L.A. He probably didn’t anticipate the drama that would ensue between the two cities. 

The Los Angeles Department of City Planning approved the project in 2015. Because two-thirds of the project fell on L.A.’s side of the line, Beverly Hills initially handed the decision to L.A. But a Beverly Hills neighborhood group challenged L.A.’s approval and sued under CEQA, alleging the city failed to consider environmental impacts.

In the meantime, Moore submitted a scaled-down version of the project. In his revised plan, there was a three-story portion in Beverly Hills and a four-story portion in L.A.

Because of the hubbub around the litigation, the Beverly Hills City Council got involved. It considered possible scenarios in which the city would be compensated — either through payment from the developer or a tax to renters and owner —  but ultimately voted against the project in a 5-0 vote, the Beverly Press reported.

Even before the project was shot down, Moore was frustrated with the process.

“With a new [code compliant] development, you figure you will have a year with no income, but this seems like more like two years,” he told the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2015. “I’ve dealt with a lot, but never anything close to this. Ever.”

Moore wasn’t the only one with fighting words. Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch told the Beverly Press L.A.’s development process was “sometimes outright corrupt,” and never has Beverly Hills’ interests in mind.

L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz said after Thursday’s vote that L.A. would need to figure out its next steps.

Moore and a group of investors purchased the lot for $7 million in 2013. His development would have replaced three two-story apartment buildings totaling 17 units. [LABJ] [Beverly Press] — Subrina Hudson

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