Who Enforces Early Construction?
By SUE PASCOE
According to neighbors, construction at Palisades Village has been starting shortly after 6 a.m. weekdays. Construction hours per City code are Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and holiday hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. No work is permitted on Sunday.
On Monday, August 20, construction started prior to 6:15 a.m. The condominium resident, who lives less than a block from the project, reported in an email to Circling the News: “I took photos and videos. The 311 line was not open this morning. I called and made a report at the (213)-996-1250 [noise complaint] number around 6:30 a.m. and the noise enforcement person looked up to see if they had a variance to start early and they do not.” The person was told to call West LAPD (310) 444-0701.
The next morning, August 21, this reporter went to Starbucks on Sunset and Swarthmore at 5:50 a.m. to observe.
There were workers inside the establishment. A Starbucks employee said workers sometimes came as early as 4:30 a.m. to Pacific Palisades to avoid traffic.
One of the workers inside the coffee shop was asked when construction started, and he said “Six.”
At 6:05 a.m., at the construction site at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Swarthmore Avenue, there were workers on the roof, and trucks were loading and unloading.
Circling the News was able to learn the building and safety person in charge of code violation for the project [1031 Swarthmore] is Millard Ardoin and his supervisor is Jonathan Allen. An administrative person in building and safety said that because inspectors do not start prior to 7 a.m. that an early morning complaint should be called into the police. The City person in charge of restaurants at Palisades Village is Robert Bland.
The day before this reporter had called the West LAPD number and found out that the hours for someone answering a non-emergency phone call started at 7 a.m. The clerk at the desk was asked who people should call before 7 a.m. and he suggested 877-ASK-LAPD. He was asked if the time between 6 and 7 a.m. was a shift change. He said he couldn’t release that information.
At 6:10 a.m. on Tuesday, Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore was called from Starbucks and a voice message left. Next 877-ASK-LAPD number was called and a message left.
This reporter walked over to the construction site with a condominium resident. The security guard apologized that people were working and tried to get them to stop.
A project supervisor arrived at Palisades Village around 6:50 a.m. but said he could not comment and that all questions should be directed to Mike Gazzano, project director and Caruso’s VP of development.
Inspector Ardoin was called at 7:10 a.m. and verified “We don’t enforce the rules, that’s the police department.”
Allen, his supervisor, responded in an 8:30 a.m. email to Circling the News. “Good morning. I will have Inspector Ardoin go to the job site today to talk to the project manager about working hours. LAPD is the agency to call.”
Mary Fontamilias, Caruso’s senior VP for marketing and communications, was contacted via email on August 21 and asked what could be done about ensuring workers observe City regulations.
On Sunday, August 19, a 311 call by a resident to police shut down the construction (see prior post).