A proposal to build a 14-story, 215-room hotel at the southwest corner of Westwood Village ran into another roadblock when the Los Angeles City Council's three-member planning committee recommended scaling down the project.
By a 3-0 vote, the committee Tuesday urged that the Murdock Development Co. project be limited to 118 rooms, a size recommended earlier by members of the Los Angeles Planning Commission. The City Council is scheduled to vote on the issue Tuesday.
The committee vote was considered another victory for homeowners who have fought to limit the size of the project because of its expected impact on traffic.
The hotel would be located at Wilshire Boulevard and Gayley Avenue, one of the busiest intersections in Los Angeles, according to city planners.
"We feel it's inappropriate to develop that intersection to bring in any more traffic than what's there now," Harriet Miller, president of the 600-member Westwood Hills Property Owners, testified Tuesday.
Citing the expected construction of four new Medical Center structures at nearby UCLA, she said, "We don't think anyone has taken into account the cumulative impacts of hotel (traffic) with other projects that are going up.
Murdock representative Rudy Cole argued that planning studies of Westwood have shown a need for a luxury hotel that would accommodate business travelers and improve the image of the village.
A hotel would create less additional traffic than a new office building at the site, and the company has compromised all it can by scaling down its original design for a 25-story, 250-room project, Cole said.
"This is really the last opportunity for a hotel," he told committee members. "We can't build the hotel" if the 118-room limit is upheld, he said.