At its meeting last week, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission rejected appeals seeking to block the construction of five developments utilizing Transit Oriented Communities affordable housing incentives.

The first project, which comes from co-applicants Abe Abraham and Keyvan Moradian, is slated to replace a duplex and triplex in Studio City.  Plans call for the construction of a five-story building at 10867 W. Fruitland Drive featuring 19 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments - including three very low-income affordable units - with a 26-car semi-subterranean parking garage.

The appeal, filed collectively by seven abutting property owners, contended that the project is incompatible with its surroundings and will increase traffic congestion.  In addition, the appellants argued that the TOC incentives were being used "to circumvent existing zoning regulations that are in place and are being used to increase the profits for the [developer] by allowing two extra floors."

A staff report found no error in the existing Director's Determination, and rejected the claims made by the appellants.

The second project, which is being developed by an entity called Etrog Properties, LLC, is slated for a property at 5431-5505 N. Reseda Boulevard.  Plans call for replacing a small commercial building with a five-story edifice featuring 40 residential units - including five to be set aside for very low-income households - above 2,546 square feet of ground-floor retail space and a two-level, 64-car garage.

The Tarzana Property Owners Association, which appealed the proposed development, argued that vehicular access to the proposed parking garage should not be restricted to a rear alley, and contended that the building is out of scale with its surroundings. 

A staff response noted that a majority of neighboring commercial and residential buildings provide garage access via an adjacent alley.  Additionally, staff pointed out that there are several approved and existing structures that are larger than the proposed apartment complex, highlighted by Providence Tarzana Medical Center, which is adding buildings as tall as 120 feet as part of its $542-million expansion.

In Koreatown, developer Gold Capital Group faced opposition in its bid to redevelop a single-family home at 146 N. Berendo Street with a four-story, 15-unit apartment building featuring two units of very low-income affordable housing and a 14-car garage.

The appellant, identified as an adjacent property owner, argues that the project would be rejected as it would impact shade on and views from adjacent sites.

A staff report that aesthetics are not considered as an impact under CEQA in Transit Priority Areas per SB 743.  The project site is located near the Vermont/Beverly subway station.

The project appellant was absent from the hearing.

Another homeowner sought to overturn a Director's Determination approving plans for a five-story, 50-unit apartment complex with retail at 2301 Westwood Boulevard.  The appellants contended that the project was too large for its surroundings and lacked sufficient parking.

A staff report disputed those arguments, and was later affirmed by the Planning Commission.

The fifth and final appeal pertained to a proposed development connected to Los Angeles-based real estate firm Urbanworks.

The project, slated for a property at 4575 W. Santa Monica Boulevard in East Hollywood, would replace two automobile shops with a five-story building containing 16 apartments and parking for 10 vehicles.  Plans call for a mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom dwellings, with two to be set aside as extremely low-income affordable housing.

IwamotoScott Architecture designed the contemporary low-rise structure, which would incorporate a rear-facing terrace deck.

The appellant, who owns a neighboring photography studio, made a number of arguments in their attempt to overturn project approvals.  Commissioners concurred with a staff report rejected those claims.