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Will the fourth time (or is it the fifth?) be the charm for this Echo Park project?

Rendering From Spacecraft

The developer who is seeking to build a small Echo Park commercial building with a restaurant at Glendale Boulevard and Montana Street  may make further changes to the project in the wake of complaints from nearby residents concerned about noise and parking .  News of the potential changes came after a public hearing on Thursday was cancelled  because developer Sammy Kahen had failed to present updated plans to city officials for the third version of the project, which features a  contemporary-design and rooftop dining terrace created by high-profile restaurant designer Kristofer Keith of Spacecraft Group.

Armen Ross, a consultant working with Kahen, said his client will probably drop a request to allow live music on the property and prohibit outdoor music as they work on resubmitting final plans and receiving approvals to serve beer and wine. “This is not a nightclub concept,” said Ross in response to concerns from neighborhood residents.

Ross noted that the idea of a restaurant with a roof top terrace and permission to sell beer and wine had not raised objections in the past when it was presented to community groups and the neighborhood council.

 Despite addressing concerns about noise, some residents who live near the proposed restaurant say they remained worried about increased competition for street parking on surrounding streets from the new restaurant. The growing popularity of restaurants and night spots on nearby Sunset Boulevard, where several new beer and wine licenses have been inssued in recent years, has caused a parking crunch on nearby streets that will only be aggravated by Kahen’s project, say residents.

Under the proposal, a stretch of the Lakeshore Avenue that borders the triangular restaurant property  would be turned into a one-way street and diagonal parking would be created. However, that diagonal parking would be subject to a two-hour limit and  no off-street parking would be included on the former gas station property, which has been vacant for several years, said Tom Pace, who lives nearby.

If the restaurant is filled to capacity, “that means approximately 50 cars at any given time could be jockeying for the few remaining residential spots in our hood,” said Pace in an email.  “Between the Echoplex, Echoes Under Sunset comedy club, the Echo, Xiao Vietnamese restaurant, Two Boots, and all the other restaurants and bars – our residential streets are under attack.  Imagine coming home from a day’s work at 7pm and parking 5 blocks north of your home.”

Ross said another public hearing will be scheduled after his client resubmits plans to city officials and neighborhood groups for review.



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18 comments

  1. How can this even be considered without on-site parking?

    • we should ban all busineses(and homes) that do not have on site parking. close them all, of course almost all businesses and older apts in this city will sit empty but this is a good idea j cardenas

  2. Shouldn’t the neighborhood councils be asking for a moratorium on all new liquor and beer & wine licenses adjacent to residential neighborhoods until we find out if this new statewide legislation to allow bars to stay open til 4am passes?

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/03/california-bars-open-4-am.html

  3. Were residents aware of the community group(s)/neighborhood council presentations? Turning that portion of Lakeshore Avenue (or any public access) into a one-way street for developers does not sit well with me.

  4. by changing this section of street to a one way, it may add up to one whole second to someones commute!

  5. how about changing the parts of Glendale Blvd to diagonal parking to maximize space? Parts of it is wide enough.

  6. It adds more than “one whole second” to one’s commute when — as it often is — Glendale Blvd. is backed up and moving at a snail’s pace. Turning it into a one-way street puts this public right-of-way wholly at the service of the developer, since there is no reason one would go south on this segment except to park at whatever business is going to be there. It’s an ugly iteration of the privatization of public space.

  7. I is important to point out that the street closure and one way access will dramatically impact the businesses south of the proposed restaurant. Trucks will no longer be able to make deliveries. To circumvent the restrictive traffic pattern smart drivers will most likely pull into the Happy Toms parking lot and use the back alleyway. This will create a headache for Happy Tom’s and a mess at the intersection of the alleyway and Glendale Blvd. This plan and the proposed street closure is very clearly the brainchild of somebody who lives nowhere near the area. It’s up to those of us who do to make sure this doesn’t go through. Even if you live three blocks away and have a three car garage I beg you to get involved on the behalf of those of us who don’t have that luxury.

  8. It is important to point out that the street closure and one way access will dramatically impact the businesses south of the proposed restaurant. Trucks will no longer be able to make deliveries. To circumvent the restrictive traffic pattern smart drivers will most likely pull into the Happy Toms parking lot and use the back alleyway. This will create a headache for Happy Tom’s and a mess at the intersection of the alleyway and Glendale Blvd. This plan and the proposed street closure is very clearly the brainchild of somebody who lives nowhere near the area. It’s up to those of us who do to make sure this doesn’t go through. Even if you live three blocks away and have a three car garage I beg you to get involved on the behalf of those of us who don’t have that luxury.

  9. This whole issue has been created by Garcetti, who gave a free gift of city land to the property owner to provide for building a bigger project there — and without even any on-site parking. Garcetti arranged to give half of the city street to the property owner so that could count as the parking for the project so that a bigger project could be built on the small site, even though it is not even close to being enough parking.

    This project should take up less of the land so that adequate parking can be included. This is gross overdevelopment for a site that size — and that is what this whole issue comes down to.

    Thanks to that action by Garcetti, now the neighborhood is all up in arms about this plan. This never would have been an issue if Garcetti had not given away city land, and for free, so the property owner’s land would be more valuable because this could be a bigger project. I have to wonder how much Garcetti got in campaign contributions or other for that free gift.

  10. I think everyone’s already over-reacting. It’s almost like Fix Coffee all over again, minus the school. The possibility of the state measure going through to allow for alcohol to be served till 4.00 am most likely won’t affect that many bars, as the majority of them won’t find it economical to pay to operate that much longer in sleepy neighborhoods. I can see clubs staying open until 4.00 am, but a miniscule establishment with little parking probably won’t. In any case, who cares if it did? People will still be forced indoors at 10.00 or 11.00 thanks to nearby grumpy homeowners. By the way, you live on Glendale Boulevard, one of the loudest, most unattractive thoroughfares in Los Angeles. At least the building will provide a buffer from the street noise to people farther up the hill.

  11. Fed up with squeaky wheels

    Let me get this straight…so a 7-11 was recently approved on Glendale but neighbors are fighting off a potential sit down restaurant? Here we go again, with loud neighbors presenting a doomsday scenario! Anything would be better than the vacant lot (former gas station!). Echo Park always has and always will be a destination. Let’s not kill new buildings that can contribute to the neighborhood’s vibrancy!

    • 7-11 built in an existing space – people come and go from 7-11 and they NEVER take residential parking spaces to shop there. You don’t see the different between a convenience store where they average transaction is 5 minutes to a sit down bar restaurant that is offering zero parking onsite? Really? I find it hard to believe that you don’t see the difference. On behalf of all the residents north of sunset between Glendale Blvd. and Echo Park Avenue I ask that you take a moment to consider how difficult our lives have become due to lack of residential spaces. This is not about 7-11 versus a restaurant. This is about unchecked development and poor city planning.

  12. Aren’t the homes supposed to have parking/garages? Just because you own a home does not guarantee a parking place on a PUBLIC street. Too many cars per residence I think.

    • Eastsidearts, If you lived in Echo Park you’d know that lots of hillside homes were built before garages or driveways. Off street parking was fine until recently. If this trend continues, owning a home WILL guarantee a parking spot because the residents of Echo Park will insist on permit parking just like West Hollywood.
      The solution is for the city to build parking structures over the parking lots the run behind Sunset, west of Echo Park Ave.

  13. You think the problem is too many residential cars and not the businesses who seat 40 diners and have 8 parking spaces? You think that the residents are at fault when the majority of kids who attend concerts at the Echoplex don’t want to fork over for valet? I disagree.

    We can learn all we need to know regarding this matter from other areas of LA who have gentrified and developed before us. This city is filled with apartment buildings and private home that do not have parking spaces. When development makes it impossible to park at night these areas have traditionally converted to a permit parking system. Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, the Melrose business district, Fairfax area, etc. Two or One hour parking during the day so that patrons can access businesses. Then restricted parking at night so that residents can park. With this unchecked development with no concern for residents – that is where Echo Park north of Sunset is headed. Signatures are being gathered. Once permit parking is established on Montana, Lakeshore, Lemoyne and other streets north of this business area – then they can build the Taj Mahal if they like – they just won’t be able to let their customers take residential parking spaces.

    • Permit parking is a boondoggle in and of itself. For one thing, residents must pay for the permit each year. And, where do their guests park?

      The city loves it because they make money on the permits — and a lot more on the inevitable tickets they hand out, including to you very unhappy guests.

      Of course, as you say, the sensible thing to do is not develop an area in such a way to to make this the lesser of two evils.

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