Adat Shalom Temple in West Los Angeles won a dispute with its neighbors Tuesday when the Los Angeles City Council approved a conditional-use permit allowing the synagogue to build a 340-seat sanctuary despite a shortage of parking.
The council voted 13-0 to waive the 202 parking spaces required by such an expansion, approving a variance that permits the temple to have only 48 parking spaces.
Temple leaders said they need the sanctuary for the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, when the number of worshipers jumps to 800 or 900.
Ronald Karno, the synagogue's executive director, said the temple at 3030 Westwood Blvd. now can accommodate a maximum of 550 people in a multipurpose room that is used for worship and cannot afford to relocate to a larger site.
The temple's leaders were supported by Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky, who pointed out that the new sanctuary would be used intensively on only a few days of the year.
In addition, Yaroslavsky said, the temple will be required to submit a special parking plan 90 days before each holy day celebration.
"If we said no to every religious or educational institution in our city that was near a residential neighborhood, there would be none," Yaroslavsky said.
Residents near the temple said they already have trouble finding parking on the street and oppose additional development in their congested neighborhood.
"We are working people who want the privacy and comfort of our own home, but there is no privacy and comfort living near the synagogue," one woman told the council. She said her home was adjacent to the temple.
A spokesman for the Westwood Village Civic Assn., which opposed the conditional-use permit, asked the council to delay any decision on the expansion of the temple until the 10th District elects a City Council representative.
The 10th District, in which the temple is located, has not had a council representative since former Councilman David Cunningham vacated his seat late last year.