The Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday to allow construction of the Palladium Residences, which would bring two 28-story towers with 730 units to Hollywood.
The vote was unanimous with three council members absent, but came after fierce opposition from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
The activist group, which is located across from the proposed apartment site, said it plans to sue in an attempt to block the project but did not specify who the litigation would target. It has argued that the development, which would surround the 1940s-era Palladium Theater, is too big for the neighborhood and does not comply with zoning regulations.
“This is yet another flagrant example of the 'pay to play' culture infecting Los Angeles involving developers, the City Council, the Planning Department and City Hall,” said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, in a statement. “If Mayor Garcetti is really serious about cracking down on spot zone variances and exemptions, he should override the Council and veto this project.”
The Palladium, planned by developer Crescent Heights, has responded that its size will help to fill a demand for housing in Los Angeles.
The developers are working on construction plans and hope to break ground “as soon as possible,” said Aaron Green, a spokesman for the Palladium Residences. “Any litigation filed against this project is simply frivolous,” he added.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s battle to halt the Palladium has been a keystone project for its offshoot activist group, the Coalition to Preserve L.A. That organization’s aim -- to halt mega development in areas not necessarily zoned for large structures – led to a proposed ballot measure called the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative. That measure would put a ban of up to two years on any project that requires city approval to circumvent zoning rules. Originally planned for the November 2016 ballot, the initiative has recently been pushed back to possibly land on the March 2017 ballot.
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