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Beverly Hills News – City Council to Hear Appeal on 1260 Lago Vista Thursday

Posted: Sunday, June 25, 2017 – 9:36 PM

A request for an R-1 permit for a project at 1260 Lago Vista Drive was denied by the Planning Commission in a 5-0 vote is being appealed to the City Council Thursday by attorney Ben Reznik for Crest Reality on behalf of Sagebrook Investments, LLC.

The applicant seeks to export 2,498 cubic yards of soil on a property that is adjacent to a street less than 24 feet wide in the hillside. Since the passage of the new Hillside Ordinance, any haul over 1,500 cubic yards requires an R-1 permit.

In his letter of May 23, Reznik said the denial was “premised on an improper interpretation of the Hillside R-1 Permit standards,” including, “irrelevant and arbitrary adverse impacts not supported by evidence in the record,” and “an arbitrary refusal by the Planning Commission to consider the effectiveness of appliance’s proposed safety measures specifically rafted to address those impacts.”

In May, resident Debbie Weiss, who has been at the forefront of fighting against overdevelopment in the hillsides, said that “The Applicant’s appeal letter is very weak, and is based on assumptions, claims and figures were shown to be highly questionable and/or inaccurate.”

The permit request was brought before the Planning Commission in an evening meeting. Over 100 members of the community voiced their opposition to the project, without one resident expressing support. 

Residents spoke of the significant impact of the scale of the project and the impact on their lives and the neighborhood. They also showed weaknesses in some of the mitigation proposals put forth by the applicant and expressed grave doubts that the plan would be able to proceed as promised.

The property is currently listed for sale, priced at $7,995,000 with the following description: “Beautiful promontory site in Beverly Hills proper. Stunning news of the Wilshire Corridor and pacific Ocean with ample land to build on. Originally designed by Master Architect Robert Byrd. Restore this enchanting jewel box or utilize the existing demolition permit to start new on this serene and private site.”

Resident Peter Ostroff, whose property abuts the lot, wrote, “Overwhelming evidence of substantial adverse impact was presented to the Planning Commission and the Developer’s position will not improve with age. Notable, the Developer must realize that its chances on appeal are minimal because it has listed the 1260 LVD property for sale.”

The Beverly Hills City Council will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. at City Hall in Council Chambers this week due to scheduling changes.

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