Public Forum Comments
re: Proposed 4500 Los Feliz Development
The comments below were submitted by those attending the GGPNC's November 10, 2005, Public Forum. For results of the survey completed by 240 of those attending click here. This is just the first batch of comments to be transcibed, more will be added when available.===============
Thanks to all of those who attended the forum and shared with us all their points of view on this important issue to our community's future.
I do not agree with this site having the size and inconvenience of traffic in that area. Los Feliz is extremely difficult at all times and more population will only add to the confusion we have at this time. I have lived in Los Feliz all my life and feel if this project were to better the neighborhood it may have some merit. The people involved in this project have no conception what an over powering development this would be.
MS Los Feliz Boulevard
Go develop neighborhoods that need it in Los Angeles. Los Feliz is prosperous -- what about Adams? Compton? Echo Park?
BT Ellenwood Dr.
Los Feliz Blvd. is undriveable. This will be so bad! Please stop this. No minigrove.
Please preserve the Derby structure as is and let it to remain as a nightclub as is!
I cannot understand how this project can even be proposed. Los Feliz Blvd is already grid locked every afternoon and morning for hours. The scale of this project is totally out of [illegible] with our neighborhood. I will do everything in my power to stop this project. Frankly, if it is approved my family and I probably will sell our house and leave Los Feliz.
I am not in favor of any new development of this magnitude. This type of building will detract from the unique character of my neighborhood.
BK Los Feliz Blvd.
With LA currently losing the Ambassador Hotel, it would be a travesty to also lose the Derby, another historic and beloved site.
I live on Avocado and am very concerned with a project of this size. Parking on Hillhurst, Avocado and Los Feliz is already a nightmare. I can’t imagine parking/traffic with 3 different garage entrances. This building does not present [sic] with the charm of my neighborhood.
I would just like to say that I believe that the more condos you add, the more apartments you put in, and the more beautiful places you destroy, the worse the community gets.
The existing Los Feliz Towers across the street from the original Brown Derby are already an eyesore, and do not blend in to the neighborhood. This additional development is not needed or wanted in my neighborhood. I have lived here for 55 years.
Los Feliz is a beautiful and historical area of Los Angeles. It should be protected from “developers.”
AK San Pedro
Please. Do we need any more condos that will sit empty? Don’t we have enough? And how many more car accidents do we need along Los Feliz?
This project as presented on the postcard I received in the mail would ruin this entire area. Let’s leave well enough alone. We like things quiet!
There is already a lack of parking in the neighborhood. Any development will detract from the neighborhood-feel of the area. Condos especially will shoot up rent for those of us living on Los Feliz Blvd.
LE Los Feliz
This proposed project is not consistent with Los Feliz!!
I’ve loved living in Los Feliz for 25 years, and hope it stays the same, or at least not over 1 story high, as it has been, on Hillhurst Ave. and Vermont Ave.
Please take this tacky ugly suburban yuppie dwelling and cram it up the developers collective [expletive deleted as they say] along with Starbucks.
We love our neighborhood the way it is. No big development needed by the people who live in this area. We can not breath with the traffic as is, we don’t need to drive 20 minutes to get from one corner to the next. Let the developers find another place to develop their ideas and make money.
Smart development that respects the existing historic structures as well as the scale of the streets should guide the design and planning. This development will be a huge success if it keeps the Derby and respects the neighborhood.
AP Holly Knoll
I am whole heartedly opposed to this project. It will devastate our neighborhood in terms of traffic, blight, historical destruction. Los Feliz is a tiny hamlet meant for families, small businesses, farmers markets -- not large scale retail and residential development.
CW, no address but local telephone number
I’m against expanding large commercial sites in our residential neighborhood -- construction of large retail bldgs only creates a great deal of MORE traffic which is already impossible on Los Feliz Blvd.
SG Los Feliz
I live one block from Hillhurst and Avocado (for 14+ years). There already is too much congestion, NOISE and lack of parking. It will destroy the unique small-scale charm and small community feeling of the Los Feliz neighborhood. The building is too large for the site. I don’t want excessive development in Los Feliz. I want to keep the Derby building -- it is an integral part of the neighborhood. I don’t want to change the zoning on these streets. We need more affordable housing and for renters. Los Feliz is one of the few remaining good neighborhoods with a small community feeling. This is part of the reason Los Feliz is such a popular and loved neighborhood. I don’t want over development in the Los Feliz neighborhood -- it will ruin Los Feliz and make it an ugly, over commercialized, noisy, too congested area like what happened to a lot of other once good neighborhoods -- like Melrose, West Hollywood, etc. It is an ugly white elephant type of building. Because the building will have paid parking many of the customers will try to find parking on the streets which already don’t have enough parking for the neighbors and the people who frequent the existing businesses.
I love our neighborhood -- don’t change it to look like Sherman Oaks or the Westside! And NO MORE traffic congestion increases.
Save the Derby!! No development; no condos, no retail.
This is an outrage -- we must preserve and protect the structures as they represent the history and soul of Los Feliz. Please do not steal our Derby.
It appeared development plan presented was “printed from the file” aka no thought/research to blend to surrounding.
If and when the construction of a new development happens it should be done with the idea of maintaining the charm that now exists in Los Feliz. To suggest that a mixed use development of the size existing in W. LA would work in Los Feliz is terribly short sighted and further if the traffic concerns are not adequately addressed this project is DEAD in the water, thanks to a strong residential opposition.
Any new residential development should make an effort to [illegible] economic diversity in the neighborhood.
Please keep the neighborhood style!
We have plenty of markets around this area -- take a look-- keep Los Feliz Village as is -- Traffic would be at a standstill.
GK, Los Feliz
The Los Feliz community prides itself on the “small business owner” feeling present in the Los Feliz Village. The Derby is a landmark and should be preserved! No large corporate business should enter the neighborhood, which could crush the spirit that lives within the residents and business [illegible]. While I understand that the new owners wish to profit from their investment, I treasure the human, heartfelt investments that each business owner has worked for and toward for many decades. I only hope each of those businesses can survive.
The most important aspect of the Derby is the dome, which absolutely must be preserved under all circumstances -- it doesn’t have to be a nightclub -- just preserve the dome Please! The size of the proposed project is completely out of scale to the neighborhood -- this is not the Westside. All the other projects they discussed are on large streets in primarily business districts. We are a primarily residential neighborhood. I am not opposed to development . . . . 20 or 30 condos, some small stores -- BUT NO LARGE CHAINS -- No Boarders [sic], Whole Foods, Cheesecake Factories. In fact you can totally get rid of Louise’s Trattoria. Additionally, I am completely against changing any zoning that would increase housing density. We don’t want Los Feliz to end up being a permanent gridlock on all our side streets -- Los Feliz Blvd. is already bad enough. Overall -- the project is just WAY too BIG!
I do not disagree about developing the area, but it can be done tastefully w/in the nature of the surrounding area.
1. Evidence shows that significant architectural heritage exists, so structure should be preserved. 2. Greater density will improve neighborhood. 3. On major transit routes -- why not promote that? [Illegible] convenient bus service there. 4. Need for affordable housing -- please pursue the subject. 5. The Derby has not been a good neighbor, though I value the structure. Parking is awful because of this club. The patrons are noisy and inconsiderate. If the mgt cared more about the effect on the area, I would be more supportive of the business. Generally, I favor the development of that site. I approve of higher density development -- which is why I choose to live in the city.
There have been so many near fatalities of [sic] the crossing of Hillhurst and Los Feliz. We do not need more! Suggestion: they can build some # of houses similar to Vermont and Los Feliz last year.
The Derby is the HEART AND SOUL of the neighborhood; DON’T BULLDOZE IT.
Traffic and congestion (both human and auto) is already at the overflow/backup brink; DON’T ADD TO IT. DON’T BE SO INCREDIBLY STUPID, in the name of developers’ greed.
How much allowance is made for low income housing? Affordable? What will be the amount of money used for artistic works? How does this development impact on available water supplies?
We don’t need or want the development in this neighborhood. Don’t ruin our special village.
MF Los Feliz
Adler never answered how this project benefits our neighborhood. That’s because it doesn’t!! It only benefits developers, not Los Feliz. GREED. Adler, stick to the Westside, and leave us alone!!
I am against the construction of such a large development on the corner of Hillhurst and Los Feliz. It will make traffic worse and ruin the charm of the area.
I have, on my travels, met countless numbers of people who know exactly where I live simply by my saying “Los Feliz” So many recount their stories of having special dinners at the restaurant on the corner. From Africa to London to New York, people know our neighborhood by the very corner in question.
There should be no new proposal for any development at 4500 Los Feliz Blvd. This proposal will only bring more traffic to Los Feliz Blvd. Traffic here is bad as it is, not counting traffic during rush hour. It is especially bad during concert night, furthermore the new development at the Costco/Toys-R-Us site made traffic a nightmare. The observatory will open next year and now this proposal. There is no way Los Feliz can handle all this traffic. Also, I as well as many people walk or run on Los Feliz Blvd. The more cars you have, the more likely accidents will happen. I don’t see how this will help the Los Feliz area.
AW Nella Vista
In past town hall meetings, how effective were any of them in stopping developments? Once the condos and lofts go up, it is then too late -- an instant ghetto will occur. Will there be any senior housing? What will be the “affordable housing” price for the units? Will there be single level units or multi-floor lofts like the hideous ones built at the corner of Silverlake and Glendale?
Any new development would cause an increase in traffic for our neighborhood. We as a neighborhood cannot handle any increased traffic. Traffic will increase on residential streets Avocado, Rowena, Ambrose, Franklin etc. The residential street traffic has increased and I cannot imagine what will happen if this project goes forward. NO DEVELOPMENT PERIOD.
The traffic is already at a crisis point in our area and will only get worse with the observatory reopening 2006. We need to address this problem before we add more stress on this area. Also, this neighborhood as a destination and center for art, culture and high property values will be adversely affected.
The proposed project is a depressing HORROR. It is designed to maximize profits by developer under cover of providing mixed use “opportunities” for the public “good” NO! Traffic is a nightmare and the Derby is a historic part of the local charm. Clearly none of the owner/developers either live in or care about the neighborhood.
No variance should be allowed!
We need room to breathe! This proposal is not reasonable for the area. The traffic is too severe without the project. This project would smother us and the area.
Concern is Traffic. Property values will go down, due to density issue, I live on Los Feliz Blvd and the ambiance of the neighborhood will change.
Two persons, one on Los Feliz other on Holboro
Traffic impact; Save the Derby; no big retail stores.
This is the leading edge of the erosion of the special, nationally recognized value of Los Feliz Village. No other street in Los Feliz has the combination of rush hour gridlock and non-rush hour traffic jams as L.F. Blvd.
JH, Los Feliz
You must keep the present zoning!
Not in favor of the project. People come into our neighborhood (who are not from our neighborhood) and try to destroy it just to make a buck. Stop the project.
KC no address but local telephone number
With this proposed development the Hillhurst Neighborhood village will be destroyed. Also, we can barely move particularly on the weekends on Los Feliz Blvd. since Costco, Toys-R-Us etc. was built. With this new development (were it to be built) Los Feliz Blvd. would be grid locked! We would be traffic prisoners in our homes north and south of the boulevard.
I do think this site could be improved, but on a much smaller scale than proposed.
I appreciate that it’s a challenge to bring new life to an area without tearing some things down, but what you’re seeking to destroy here is part of the reason people would want to live here in the first place, part of the reason people love this community. If certain lines aren’t drawn limiting development, you lose all local character. If the Derby isn’t worth saving -- what is?
NL no address
The development of this project presented is obviously out of scale, and character with the surrounding neighborhood. Additionally, there is also a lack of historical respect, most obviously with the proposed destruction of the Derby, but also the historic nature and attitude towards growth the Los Feliz neighborhood has long possessed.
There is a great opportunity here to develop or more planned design a site and significant piece of the Los Feliz area (and Los Angeles). The attitude towards building and design methodology will set a positive example if significant consideration is given to neighborhood character and scale, and historicism specific to Los Feliz. The opportunity exists to counter the typical developer mentality of mass construction and lack of sensitivity to the existing environment. Los Angeles has a history of destruction of historical areas and zones most prominent being Bunker Hill downtown -- which is currently being revitalized after its unfortunate demolition and dehumanization during the 70s. The Los Feliz proposal is smaller in scale, however the attitude currently taken is of a similar destructive nature. Please consider the current architecture of the area and already congested streets surrounding. We do not need something of this size, nor does the neighborhood, as obviously exhibited during the meeting.
KD, Los Feliz
I bike, I ride the underground and I hike the park. Let’s as a community set an example: not all change is good. There is something to be said for history. We all would be nothing without it. P.S. there are enough people in this area. Let’s keep it that way. We have nature to save.
LS Sunset Drive
Zoning laws exist for a reason! Changing the zoning is a thinly veiled attempt to sanction commercial development in a residential area! Only small shops should be allowed.
Thank you for taking the necessary steps to have this forum. I hope the developer and the community can work together to construct something that will meet the needs of the neighborhood while still remaining sensitive to the unique ambience of the Los Feliz area. Finley Avenue is already used as an alternative route heavily traveled by cars when Los Feliz, Vermont, and Hillhurst are congested. This development will certainly impact this residential street between Hillhurst and Alexandria.
Go build on Hollywood and Vermont. Why not buy and develop land in downtown? That is an area that needs to be “revitalized”. This neighborhood is unique and the planned development is “cookie-cutter”. We are not the Westside or OC or the Valley! Damn it!
I am a property owner in Silver Lake and I totally and vehemently oppose this development project. It will be impossible to have a decent quality of life what with the increased density of population and resultant traffic. My house (1908) is dwarfed by the apartment complex next door (1935 and earlier) because they built right up to the sidewalk and my lot line. Variances like these result in nothing but Ugly.
Please leave as it! If developers plans are executed what will happen to the children of the residences? Where shall they be educated?
As a resident of Los Feliz and a long time admirer of one of the last true “unneighborhoods” in LA, I think it is imperative to preserve its charm and character. Please save the Derby and do not build new commercial properties that will take away the charm of Los Feliz and increase congestion and traffic. Thank you.
LF no street address
Please preserve the remarkable domed structure of the Derby.
Keep our neighborhood unique. This is why we love it here. Listen to the people who live here! It’s already congested, unfortunately, plus with the new Observatory, traffic concerns are already brewing . . .
The architecture of the proposed project IS AN EYESORE. CANCEL PROJECT!
There is way too much traffic. Pollution - noise, crowding and new developments in the area as is!!! Let’s keep the integrity of the “Village”
I will do whatever it takes to prevent the construction of this monstrosity. The Derby should be preserved. Traffic should be kept at bay.
How many cedar trees are we going to lose with the construction and turn out widening -- traffic mitigation?
Los Feliz/ Vermont already too crowded -- a project this size will bring people from distant neighborhoods and destroy the village.
Traffic/access -- entrances to parking garage on Los Feliz should be at the far west side of the project in order to maintain an uninterrupted streetscape as much as possible and the other should be off Avocado and not Hillhurst which has a lot more pedestrian activity.
Style -- we are not in Colonial Spain -- the Spanish style homes in the neighborhood are more custom and obviously have a different scale. The development should be modern.
I appreciate the attempt to scale down the development towards the Hillhurst/Avocado but it is not enough -- the elimination of the supermarket should make it easier to limit the height of the development to 2 stories in that area. The open space courtyard should be programmed [?] and extremely accessible and engaging to the public -- it should be on Hillhurst and not Avocado across the parking lot of Mexico City to integrate the Derby. [Plan is included showing substantial open space on Los Feliz west of the Derby and on Hillhurst south of the Derby and on Avocado with public access to the courtyard from Hillhurst.]
CP, no street address given
As presented, this project is totally unacceptable. It is ugly, far too [illegible] and will create traffic that will totally stop the lines of traffic. The developer groups mentioned more than once the “revitalization” of the neighborhood. Where is that? Certainly these are charming shops, but “revitalization”?
JB Los Feliz
No new construction on Los Feliz please; especially a large complex as you propose building. Los Feliz Blvd. is crowded enough as it is. Traffic is a great problem as things stand now. More apartments means there will be more cars, more traffic tie-ups. People have no alternative for other routes to use to get to work.
The area cannot support the traffic and crowding that the development would bring to our neighborhood. Proposed monstrosity = POO.
There should be equal access for everyone to parking. There shall be no parking fee to park at the parking structure. The city shall not place parking meters on Los Feliz, Avocado, Hillhurst because of the zoning changes. Los Feliz should be protected from parking restrictions. The builder shall commit more than 200 space as a market is on this site. 400 spaces is not enough. Allocation of parking should be more fair without parking gates, fees, etc. We will oppose the project if not enough free parking is provided by LA City and the builder. If the tenants/renters have guests, then where are visitors to the retail stores going to park? The builder shall not take up lanes on Los Feliz or Hillhurst to close lanes causing traffic problems.
GL, New Hampshire and RL Vermont.
Parking spaces should include a public parking area to lessen impact of residents and their guests on the neighboring areas. Parking spaces should be sized realistically large to include all of the SUVs that will inevitably crowd the area. Compact spaces should not be allowed to count as parking spaces, since they are too small for most cars, and SUVs end up taking up 2 spaces.
FF, no street address given
If you absolutely must build, keep the Derby building and design something that truly fits the neighborhood “Faux Mediterranean” is an apt description for the current -- and now ubiquitous throughout Los Angeles -- proposed architecture.
AR, no address given
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