By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
The Pacific Palisades Design Review Board met virtually on Wednesday, November 10, to discuss a number of board and project updates.
The brief meeting called for distribution of the 2022 calendar and a determination to continue holding meetings via teleconference due to the expiration of an executive order.
“In order to continue holding virtual meetings, the board needs to determine by majority vote that meeting in-person would present imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees, and adopt a resolution today and every 30 days thereafter,” Planning Assistant Nick Vasuthasawat said at the board’s last meeting.
The board agreed to continue meeting via teleconference for the next month. There will be another meeting on December 8 to account for the subsequent 30 days.
Councilmember Mike Bonin’s field deputy Noah Fleishman also introduced himself to the board at the meeting, making himself available to the team and offering support from the council office.
Vaccarino shared that in May 2022, four members—Vaccarino, Paul Darrall, Sarah Griffin and Barbara Kohn—of the board will term out after having completed two, four-year terms. Vice Chair Maryam Zar and member Leah Cox will be the only two remaining members.
“It is time that your council office start finding replacements,” she said to Fleishman. “In the field of architecture, you need two and you need a landscape architect, which Bonin never did fill on our board … you really have just a few months here to bring additional people on board.”
She said it would be helpful to bring at least one new member on board soon for transitional coherence. The requirements and qualifications of board members can be found in Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 16.50.
“The role of design review boards is to evaluate the placement of mass, form, spatial elements and overall quality of the design of proposed projects based on defined objectives established in specific plans,” according to the section. “Design review boards should assist the city decision-makers, the community, private developers, property owners and design professionals in implementing the design goals of communities contained within specific plan boundaries.”
Vaccarino told the Palisadian-Post that anybody interested should contact Bonin’s office.
“It’s a lot of hard work, be prepared,” she said.
The board then asked Vasuthasawat for updates regarding The Hydration Room—a proposed project the board previously voted to disapprove at its Wednesday, September 22, meeting. The project is slated to be located at 15278 Antioch Street and would change the use of the former Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf space from a cafe to a medical office.
Vasuthasawat said the city is still working on reviewing the project and a determination has not been made yet.
Vaccarino also expressed concerns regarding the previously approved changes to the historic Business Block Building, located on Sunset Boulevard.
The proposed base color of the building was percale. Vaccarino and Darrall said the color is a lighter shade than the agreed-upon sample, which leans more taupe.
“Originally, we must remember that they presented us an all-white building and we did not approve that twice,” Vaccarino said. “We wanted more architectural definition and we don’t see that happening … I’m a little disappointed in this and I think we have to hold them to what they said they were going to do.”
Vasuthasawat said he would look at the letter of determination for the project, the color schemes the board recommended, the color palette that was approved and check in with the applicant.
“If there’s substantial deviation, I think that’s something that may warrant another review from this board,” he said.
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