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The Real Deal Los Angeles

NIMBY group sues over Gehry-designed Sunset Boulevard project

Group cites a 1986 covenant imposing height limit
February 20, 2017 10:30AM

Council member David Ryu and a rendering of Frank Gehry’s design for 8150 Sunset Boulevard

Developer Townscape Partners has run into yet another obstacle at its Frank Gehry-designed development on Sunset Boulevard.

A local nonprofit has filed a lawsuit against the project, alleging that the city failed to address a decades-old planning covenant on the property that limited its height to 45 feet when it granted approval for the development in November. 

Fix the City, the same group that successfully challenged the Hollywood Community Plan Update three years ago, claims that planning officials mistakenly declared that the site has no height limit, the Los Angeles Times reported. The group wants the city to circulate a new environmental impact report on the project and have the council redo the vote, a process that could take up to a year.

City planners argue that the 1986 covenant only applies to the structure that’s currently on the site — a shopping center. The height restriction ceases to exist when a new project is filed, according to Yeghig Keshishian, a spokesman for the Department of City Planning.

Council member David Ryu is now reviewing the legal documents submitted by Fix the City, according to his spokesperson Estevan Montemayor.

“Every step along the way, we were told by the planning department there was no height limit — and that there was nothing we could do about it,” he told the Times.

The  229-unit, 178-foot project is slated to comprise two residential towers and 65,000 square feet of commercial space. [LAT]Cathaleen Chen