Community Council Opposes Jack in the Box Site Project

By CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA | Reporter

The Pacific Palisades Community Council unanimously voted to oppose the proposed residential project at the old Jack in the Box site on Sunset at their latest meeting on Thursday, August 22—just one week ahead of a hearing before the Department of City Planning’s Design Review Board on August 28.

The decision to oppose the project “as proposed” came on the recommendation to do so by the Land Use Committee, which met with the developer in a public setting on multiple occasions to ask specifics on the project.

The original position of the LUC stated the parking schematics as problematic, but was later taken out of the motion by PPCC, who acknowledged the developer was in compliance.

“The project does comply with the city requirements on parking and the more experienced members realize that,” PPCC Treasurer Richard Cohen said. “It actually undercuts our position on the coastal argument to dispute what’s clearly allowed under the law.”

But the agreements between the developer and community council stop there, as the two-page motion claims the planned five-story building could be in violation of the Coastal Act and obstructs views of neighboring residents.

They claim the project is not compatible with the Pacific Palisades Commercial Village and Neighborhoods Specific Plan, which limits buildings to a maximum of two stories and 30 feet in height.

While PPCC will submit a written statement of opposition to the city, the council recommended community members to further oppose the project through legal strategies.

Reza Akef, Area 8 representative, still believes the insufficient parking at the project could be a good way to combat it and encouraged a NIMBYist effort against it.

“I would gladly support anybody in the community … to run another petition against this project for the basic premise that it insufficiently has enough parking for that area.”

At previous hearings, the developer’s attorney Mike Gonzales provided what he believes are legal exemptions for the specifications that PPCC and LUC are disputing.

Not answering requests for comment and declining an invitation to Thursday’s PPCC meeting, Gonzales seems to have put a stop on community outreach efforts.

But not everyone at the meeting was opposed to building a new development on Sunset Boulevard, as PPCC Youth Advisor Zennon Ulyate-Crow gave a different perspective not yet given in public.

I think as a community, we all know that California, Los Angeles and the Westside is in a housing crisis, said Ulyate-Crow.

“As a community, we also need to show how we’re helping solve this crisis, and so while no project in the Palisades that provides a large amount of housing will ever be good in the Palisades, the fact is, this project is probably the best opportunity we have to show the greater city and everybody else that we do care about this issue and we’re doing something.”