A new month brings tweaks to another of the flurry of Builder's Remedy projects looming on the horizon in Beverly Hills.
In late October, an updated application was filed by New Commune DTLA, LLC, an entity helmed by developer Leo Pustilnikov, for a site at 211-217 S. Hamilton Drive. In February 2023, Pustilnikov had sought to build a 12-story, 175-unit residential building on the property, which sits just south of the under-construction Wilshire/La Cienega subway station. A revised project description now indicates he is pursuing a taller 14-story building with 210 dwellings.
Either iteration of the project far exceeds what Beverly Hills has zoned the land for. The property was previously listed for sale as a development opportunity with the potential to build up to 33 apartments.
The Builder's Remedy, a once little-known provision of state law, allows property owners to bypass certain zoning rules relating to height and density in jurisdictions which have not received state certification for their housing elements - provided a proposed development includes a requisite amount of on-site affordable housing.
Pustilnikov was the first developer to make use of the Builder's Remedy in Southern California, relying on it to propose a large mixed-use project which would bring over 2,700 homes and a hotel to the site of the AES power plant in Redondo Beach. He has also targeted several sites in Beverly Hills, proposing a 19-story building on Linden Avenue to the south of Wilshire Boulevard and a 12-story building at 346 N. Maple Drive.
Beverly Hills, which recently found itself on the losing end of a lawsuit relating to its housing element, remains in the process of updating the document in the hope of receiving certification from state regulators. The updated housing element is scheduled for consideration at the November 9 meeting of the city's Planning Commission.
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