A Hollywood property owner has sued the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) over its approval of variances allowing seven supergraphic signs totaling almost 11,000 sq. ft. on the Blvd6200 mixed-used project on Hollywood Blvd.
Attorneys representing Margarita Allen, who lives in a house directly across the street from the project that hasn’t broken ground, claims that the developers pulled a “classic bait and switch tactic” by increasing the proposed signage by 2,500 sq. ft. after an environmental impact report (EIR) was certified three years ago. The lawsuit filed in L.A. County Superior Court alleges that the CRA board’s vote this past December to approve variances for the increased signage constitute “a give away to the developer amounting to tens of millions of dollars.”
Under Hollywood sign district regulations, the two-building project of 1,042 apartment units and 175,000 square of feet of commercial-retail space, would have been restricted to two supergraphic signs on each building. The developer, Clarett Hollywood LLC, originally received approval from the CRA to increase that number of allowed signs from four to seven, on the grounds that the architectural design gave the appearance of a greater number of buildings. The CRA also okayed a variance from the sign district regulation that prohibit two or more supergraphic signs from being visible at the same time from a particular location.
The lawsuit claims that the increased signage will add to visual blight in the area, and refers to a “public outcry” about both legal and illegal supergraphic signs that led to the city banning any new signs in the Hollywood sign district area. The City Council unanimously approved that ban less than two months before the Dec. 2 CRA meeting at which the board approved the variances. Note: The ban exempted the Blvd6200 project, along with a number of others.
The lawsuit also claims that an EIR addendum hastily prepared in advance of that meeting failed to consider the cumulative impact of the Blvd6200 signage and large amounts of supergraphic signage already approved at the nearby Hollywood & Vine and Pantages mixed-use projects.
Filed on Jan. 12 by Pasadena attorney Robert Silverstein, who has been involved in several other high-profile lawsuits challenging development projects, the lawsuit seeks to have the CRA’s approval of the signage variances declared invalid. To read lawsuit, click here.
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