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Position on Public Storage request to expand building, exceed FAR

Updated: Nov 23, 2022


Post OfficeBox 661450 – Los Angeles,CA 90066 www.delreyhome.org


June 9, 2020 VIA E-MAIL Courtney Shum City Planner Los Angeles City Planning 200 N. Spring Street,Room 763 Los Angeles, CA 90012 Re: ZA-2018-8890-CU-ZV-SPR 12681 West Jefferson Boulevard/Public Storage Virtual Hearing: June 16, 2020, 11 a.m. For instructions: https://planning.lacity.org/about/oza-virtual-instructions Dear Ms. Shum: The Del Rey Residents Association opposes the approval of the development application at 12681 West Jefferson Boulevard, by Public Storage Inc. for the construction of a new storage building. These are our findings of why this project should not be approved: 1) Excessive FAR - This parcel is already built out to nearly the full allowable density as established by the Community Plan and Zoning Code. The property is 141,627 SF, and with the existing building on the property being 216,584 SF, the FAR is currently 1.47 (1.5 allowable). All but 4,000 SF of the proposed project (120,426 SF) is in excess of the allowable FAR. It is proposing a 63% increase to the allowable FAR, and this kind of increase is the type of “spot zoning” that should only be considered on extremely rare occasion for buildings of utmost importance. 2) Detrimental use of land - This location is not appropriate for a four-story storage building. There are already several large scale storage buildings on this street within three blocks of this location and it does not need another. Storage buildings are very passive buildings that do not engage the street or community and are not conducive to human interaction.


Los Angeles City Planning Re: PublicStorage, 12681 Jefferson Blvd. ZA-2018-8890-CU-Z-SPR June 9, 2020 Page 2 3) Incompatible with the developing community - This part of Jefferson Boulevard in Del Rey has been transforming into a very engaging and attractive boulevard geared towards pedestrian activity and neighborhood walkability. It is becoming one of the most visually significant and monumental vehicularcorridors in the region as well. This is demonstrated by the exciting and progressive architecture of the office complex next door, the modernization of several other office buildings nearby and the influx of creative industries and residential communities within view or a short walk. A storage building, which is best located in less traveled and otherwise difficult to inhabit locations, does not belong here. 4) Inadequate parking - There will not be enough parking provided on this property for this use. The code would require 87 parking spaces. They are actually reducing the number of spaces on the property from 64 to 55. Part of how the shortage is being mitigated is by providing bicycle parking in lieu of automobile parking. This option should not be allowable on this project. People do not take their bicyclesto their self storage facility.They have to carry cargo to or from storage. 5) Repeated opposition by the Del Rey Neighborhood Council (“DRNC”) and public outreach - This project was met with majority opposition from the DRNC Land Use Committee on 4 priorpresentations to the committee. Public Storage’s initial offer of $500,000 and very minordesign changes that were made through the public outreach process (an additional 10 foot landscaped setback from the street) were not enough to secure committee support. However, on May 14, 2020, the DRNC’s board voted (9 for, 1 against, 2 abstentions) to rescind its 2018 motion opposing the project and to support the conditional use permit in exchange for Public Storage’s agreement that after the CUP was granted, it would pay: (a) $275,000 to Safe Parking LA; (b) $50,000 per year for 10 subsequent years to Safe Parking LA; and (c)$500,000 for a future use at the discretion of the DRNC, with that money to be kept in an account administered by Council District 11. Attached is our May 10, 2020 letter that expressed our unanimous opposition to the DRNC’s proposed change of position. 6) Update of CommunityPlan in progress - Another reason the DRNC would not support this project is that they took a position to defer approvals to projects that vary from the Community Plan until the process of the Community Plan update that is underway is completed. The Del Rey Residents Association agrees with this position. 7) Offer of financial compensation (behested payment) – The “community benefit” offered with this project is comprised exclusively of behested payments that wouldgo towards purposesthat do not impact or mitigate impactsof the use of this property. These payments, which would contribute towards temporary


Los Angeles City Planning

Re: PublicStorage, 12681 Jefferson Blvd.

ZA-2018-8890-CU-Z-SPR June 9, 2020

Page 2


solutions to a socialproblem, should not be considered to be a valid Community Benefit and should not be allowed to influence the decision that would allow putting a building in a place that will devaluate the community forever. Further, other than the two motions adopted by the DRNC, we know of no written guidance as to how these payments are to be handled.


8) Improper DRNC support- The project was not considered to be acceptable by the DRNC Land Use Committee until the Developer brought the financial compensation offer. The Committee, and subsequently the Board, did not evaluate the development based on its land use merits or its impact to the community. The decisionwas swayed purelyby the financial contribution of the negotiated behested payment.


9) Precedent setting - Approving this project would be sendinga message and setting a precedent that otherwise unobtainable project approvals are up for sale in Del Rey and that we are willing to sacrifice the quality of our community and physical environment for the right price. Approval would allow the misuse of the community benefit model to approve this project.


Very truly yours,


DEL REY RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION


By Maureen Madison, President Enclosure: Letter of May 10, 2020 to DRNC


Cc: (Via E-mail)

Councilmember Mike Bonin

C.D. 11 Senior PlanningDeputy Len Nguyen

C.D. 11 Del Rey Field DeputyNick Sundback

Gibson Nyambura, Department of Neighborhood Empowerment Andrés Friedman, Public Storage

Dr. Scott Sale, Safe Parking LA Ken Draper, City Watch

Christina Campodonico, The Argonaut Emily Alpert Reyes,Los Angeles Times



 

1ST LETTER, MAY 10, 2020


Post Office Box 661450

Los Angeles, CA 90066

www.delreyhome.org May 10, 2020 VIA E-MAIL Board@delreync.org Re: Del Rey Neighborhood Council Board of Directors and General Meeting Thursday, May 14, 2020, 7:15 p.m. Dial +1 669 900 6833 and enter 998 9060 2122 and then press # or Click (https://zoom.us/j/99890602122) We oppose granting the Conditional Use Permit for Public Storageat 12681 Jefferson Blvd. because it is improper to base conditional use permit approvals on a financial contribution from a developer. If the motions below are adopted, the Del Rey Neighborhood Council(“Del Rey NC”) will be approving a “pay to play” maneuver to get a conditional use permit granted. Agenda Item 8.c. Motion (Doug Barish) – The Del Rey NC rescinds the motion opposing the Public Storage facility at 12681 Jefferson Blvd.. [The opposition motion was adopted on January 17, 2018.] Agenda Item 8.d. Motion (Doug Barish) – The Del Rey NC supports the CUP for Public Storage at 12681 Jefferson Blvd. with the community benefits to include $500,000 for a future use at the discretion of the Del Rey NC, $275,000 upon approval to Safe Parking, and $50,000 per year for 10 subsequent years to Safe Parking. Safe Parking LA’s mission is to identify locations where people living in their vehicles can park at night in an area patrolled by security and with access to a restroom. This mission is unrelated to the impact of the proposed Public Storage building on land use and planning in Del Rey. Further, the Del Rey NC is an agency of the City of Los Angeles, and as such, it cannot receive$500,000 for a discretionary future use, nor can it bind a private business to make 10 years of future unregulated contributions. In March 2019, the board of the Del Rey Residents Association was asked to support this conditional use permit and did not choose to do so. There are several land use reasons that this project should not be approved:


• The parcel is already fully built out to the allowable density Floor to Area Ratio (FAR) allowed by the current Zoning Code and Community Plan. Additional density should not even be considered unless the new building offers exceptional value to the Del Rey community.


• The proposed project is not a desirable use of the land.


There are already several large-scale self-storage buildings along this stretch of Jefferson Boulevard.


The building interferes with the pedestrian environment that has emerged since Playa Vista was built along this stretch of Jefferson Blvd., directly across from the proposed project.


Storage buildings are a passive use of land and are better suited to areas that are more industrial and less populated. This property is within 500 feet of residential properties, and the City should not grant a conditional use permit that will conflict with what has been planned for the area.


Public benefits proposals should only be considered if they are intended to mitigate a negative impact of the particular development. This building will be there for decades whereas the financial contribution will be temporary.


At its April 2020, meeting (held via Zoom), in exchange for the promise of contributions by Public Storage to Safe Parking LA, the land use committee of the Del Rey Neighborhood Council voted to reverse its previous decision to oppose the Public Storage project and agreed to ask the full Del Rey Neighborhood Council board to reverse its previous opposition as well. This behavior reflects poorly on our Neighborhood Council and the City’s decision making processes.


The land use committee of the Del Rey Residents Association then prepared this letter, which has been voted upon and approved by the association’s board.


Very truly yours,


DEL REY RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION


By Maureen Madison, President


Cc: (Via E-mail)

Councilmember Mike Bonin

C.D. 11 Senior PlanningDeputy Len Nguyen

C.D. 11 Del Rey Field DeputyNick Sundback Ken Draper, CityWatch

Christina Campodonico, The Argonaut Emily Alpert Reyes,Los Angeles Times

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