Case Studies & Examples / Housing / Mixed Use / News

“Not Suited for Development”

April 15, 2011

By Charles Crumpley

“We’ve got CEQA to thank for the fenced-off, boarded-up eyesore at Sunset Boulevard and Gordon Street in Hollywood.

That building, an old Spaghetti Factory restaurant, should have been a new 23-story condo and office tower by now. Except that it was killed by CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act. Not because the project was environmentally unsound. In fact, it successfully fended off a lawsuit from neighbors brought under CEQA that went all the way to the California Supreme Court.

The developers won, but by the time they got that court victory in January, they had dropped from financial exhaustion. A notice of default had been filed on the project last summer. So, opponents really won. They killed it with CEQA.

Had it not been for that lawsuit, probably by now the building would be up, complete with condos aimed at middle-class workers, creative offices, retail space and even a little park. Instead, we’ve got the boarded-up, abandoned restaurant that’ll sit there for God knows how many years.”

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