It had been nearly three years since supporters and opponents of the Venice Place Hotel project have been in the same room together, but time has not dampened either side’s passion about the boutique hotel proposed for Abbot Kinney Boulevard.
Speakers at an Aug. 1 hearing before West Los Angeles Zoning Administrator Theodore Irving tended to focus on concerns about traffic congestion, the displacement of French-language school Ecole Claire Fontaine and, among supporters, local demand for hotel rooms as an alternative to the proliferation of short-term vacation rentals. A decision is expected this fall, but could be appealed before West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission.
Dan Abrams, an independent filmmaker and longtime resident of Venice, wants the city to approve changes to the block between Broadway Street and Westminster Avenue that would make room for 78 boutique hotel rooms, four apartments, 175 new underground vehicle parking spaces and 56 bicycle parking spaces while retaining office, retail and restaurant uses as well as The Cook’s Garden. The project, designed by local architect David Hertz & The Studio for Environmental Architecture, would replace some existing structures and modify others to create separate two- or three-story structures at a maximum height of 30 feet.
Some speakers remain unhappy about building a hotel in such close proximity to Westminster Avenue Elementary School, with Westminster parent Pamela Pressley expressing concerns about air quality during construction and Mar Vista attorney Amanda Seward raising questions about alcohol consumption and security.
Supporters, many of them matching wearing matching blue buttons, praised the idea of bringing hotel rooms to Abbot Kinney Boulevard and the project’s embrace of bicycles, skateboards and other forms of alternative transportation.
— Gary Walker