Residents of Shoreham Heights in West Hollywood have asked the City Council to stop a proposed retail and office complex that they say would add traffic to Sunset Boulevard and isolate them in their hillside homes.
The city Planning Commission has approved the four-story project, which calls for 75,000 square feet of offices, restaurants and stores. The council is scheduled to consider the residents' appeal on Oct. 5.
Shoreham Heights is a one-block area north of Sunset between Horn Avenue and Sherbourne Drive. The northern boundary of the neighborhood is Shoreham Drive, and the only access to the homes is from Sunset using Horn and Sherbourne, both steep, narrow streets. The complex, proposed by Ersa Grae Corp. of Santa Monica, would be located on Sunset between those streets.
'Unique Planning Problems'
"The city does not seem to be fully aware of the unique planning problems posed by Shoreham Heights," according to the appeal submitted by the Shoreham Heights Neighborhood Assn.
Neighbors say they already have problems with traffic on Sunset and limousines delivering Spago restaurant patrons. Another building with popular attractions such as restaurants will add to neighborhood traffic woes and prevent emergency vehicles from reaching the more than 400 homes in Shoreham Heights, according to the appeal.
"We will be locked in. . . . It's trouble enough for fire engines and other vehicles to get up the street now," said Rose Borne, president of the Shoreham Towers Homeowners Assn.
Some residents have also complained that the view from their homes would be obstructed.
"Residents paid a premium to purchase or rent their homes because of this view," the appeal states. "If the project goes through, they will have to continue paying for a view they no longer have."
The appeal asserts that the city, in failing to require an environmental impact report for the project, failed to acknowledge that the development would have severe impacts on the neighborhood.
Mark Winogrond, director of West Hollywood's Planning Department, said that the city conducted a study of traffic, view blockage and other issues.
"For all the issues which neighbors identified as areas of concern . . . we did full studies," he said.
Most residents favor a smaller building, Borne said. "We know something is going to go in down there . . . but this project is too dense and too large," she said.