Fresh from the election victory of his Los Angeles growth-control initiative, Councilman Marvin Braude said Thursday he plans to seek tighter restrictions on commercial development in three areas of Pacific Palisades.
Braude, who co-authored Proposition U with Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky, said his new plan for certain commercial areas of Pacific Palisades would go beyond what the initiative requires citywide.
Braude's new plan would extend to three more areas of Pacific Palisades the stringent development limitations that already are in place in the community's central business district.
Limits in Village Plan
The regulations, including a two-story height limit, are contained in the Palisades Commercial Village Specific Plan enacted in 1985 in an effort to preserve the area's village atmosphere.
Braude said that within the next few months, he will seek City Council approval to extend these limitations to Santa Monica Canyon and Pacific Coast Highway; Marquez Drive and Sunset Boulevard, and Sunset and Pacific Coast Highway. These areas contain the sites where large commercial projects have been proposed or are under construction.
These areas are endangered by plans for excessive development, said Ron Dean, president of the 1,000-family Pacific Palisades Residents Assn.
Residents are especially concerned about a three-story, 106,000-square-foot apartment-commercial project proposed on Entrada Drive in the narrow Santa Monica Canyon, just east of Pacific Coast Highway, he said.
"The community is up in arms about this," he said. About 150 attended a recent community meeting to voice their opposition, he said.
Mary Chancellor said the Maberry-Ocean-Entrada Neighborhood Assn. also is involved in fighting the project, and has joined with several other homeowner groups on a coalition called Concerned Citizens for Our Canyon.
She said the coalition is focusing primarily on the canyon project, but members support Braude's plan for all three areas. "Stricter (development) guidelines would help us keep development a little tamer," she said.
Other projects that have drawn fire from residents are a mini-mall under construction at Marquez Drive and Sunset Boulevard and a three-story office-retail development being built at Sunset Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway.
Also a target of concern is a 71-foot-high Sunset Boulevard condominium project that homeowners call "The Big Ben of Pacific Palisades" because it towers over adjacent neighborhoods, said Ron Dean of the Pacific Palisades Residents Assn.
Mid-Sunset Residents Assn. and the Pacific Palisades Civic Assn. filed suit against the condo project, but last week settled out of court because they said the project was so near completion it was unlikely the court would halt the development.
Gary B. Nash, president of the Mid-Sunset group, said members have "very enthusiastically endorsed" Braude's plan to extend greater controls on development.
"We don't see this as a one-building fight," he said. "We are engaged in a long-term struggle to protect the character of the Palisades, and prevent Sunset from becoming like San Vicente Boulevard in Brentwood or Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood where it (the street) is just a canyon between tall buildings."
Braude's proposal would reduce the allowed height to two stories from three in the three new areas, officials said. It also would cut the allowed density in half, they said.
In addition, his proposal would require increased parking, sign controls, additional setbacks and landscaping. Also, the plan would require projects to be approved by a local design-review board.
The effect of the plan on projects currently in the planning stages will be determined by how quickly the new regulations can be adopted, Braude said.