West Hollywood's request for a preliminary injunction to stop construction of the 10-story Ma Maison luxury hotel and restaurant has been turned down by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge.
Attorneys for developer Sheldon Gordon, a general partner at Huntley Drive Associates, said they are ready to start building on the site abutting West Hollywood at the northwest corner of La Cienega and Beverly boulevards.
A sliver of the hotel site was annexed by the city of Los Angeles in 1979. West Hollywood, incorporated in 1984, sought to stop construction, contending that Los Angeles erred in not amending the general plan when the property was annexed and that the city established zoning for the annexed property without public notice or hearing or an environmental review.
In a ruling released Friday, Judge Warren H. Deering rejected West Hollywood's arguments, noting that the builders would probably win in a full court trial and that the owners of the property would suffer "substantial injuries" if the construction were halted by a preliminary injunction. Developers said they have spent $2.5 million since 1979 on plans for the hotel.
Attorney Ronald Silverman, who represented Huntley Drive Associates during the hearing, applauded Deering's ruling.
"I think . . . the court's analysis is excellent and precise. It upholds the very sound planning and zoning approach of the city of Los Angeles. The message is that a neighboring municipality can't interfere with that process absent a very compelling legal authority.
"We are going to start (building) immediately."
West Hollywood Assistant City Atty. Rochelle Browne said, "We have the option of appealing this order. The city will be deciding what to do at a meeting (tonight).
"It's my understanding that the developer has approached the city of West Hollywood to consider a possible settlement rather than an appeal."
Silverman declined to comment on the settlement discussions, other than to say that there would be no concessions by his client on the size of the hotel.
Browne, meanwhile, said, "We do feel we have a meritorious case which we do stand a significant chance of winning on appeal of the preliminary injunction order."
Deering agreed with arguments presented by Los Angeles Deputy City Atty. Gail Weingart. Deering said Los Angeles was not required to amend the Wilshire District Plan because the plan included "fringe areas not within the boundaries of the city which might be annexed in a boundary-straightening procedure."
At the time of its annexation, the sliver of county property was in a "commercially less restricted zone of the county," Deering said.