City Makes Decisions Based on 1940’s Map

The top of Paseo Miramar, which is closed to traffic.

Paseo Miramar, near Resolano Drive, is also closed to traffic.

Street Services approved a permit on May 5, 2024, for clearing mud from a street and to park construction equipment on Paseo Miramar. A barrier to prevent vehicular travel, that has been in place for nearly 60 years, was removed by a local construction company.

Then, what appeared to be grading started.

Residents alerted Street Services, Bureau of Engineering and Councilmember Traci Parks. City officials seemed flummoxed about the residents’ concerns because they were working off a 1940s map, which showed a road.

Some of the City’s street maps, are outdated, particularly in Pacific Palisades. Many streets are on paper only, because streets slid away, some taking homes with them in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Paseo Miramar is one.

The street of Paseo Miramar starts at Sunset Boulevard and winds its way to Topanga State Park. In 1941 a slide removed part of the upper street. Traffic to upper homes had to be rerouted via Resolano Drive in 1944, after the City acquired portions of three lots, via eminent domain.

The red lines show roads that no longer exist or never existed, but are still on L.A. City maps.

Paseo Miramar was closed by the city, and a barrier placed, traffic was not allowed. The remnants of the road can be found near the barrier. The road “disappears” halfway up the mountain. About three-fourths of the way up the pavement can be found again, before it disappears on a hillside that connects to the upper road.

One geological expert seemed to think that a portion of the road might have gone over the hill with the landslide. There is still a sewer tunnel/cover, which was probably in the middle of the road, but is now surrounded by brush. Further up where the road is relatively intact there are still manhole covers.

Developer Ryan Kavanaugh (HMBAP, LLC) wanted the City to vacate the street in 2015, so that he could develop a private road for a proposed gated community for lots 646-701, which he owns. It would not be a through street for residents.

Residents objected. They felt that if anything ever happened to Resolano, people living higher on the hill would have no means of exiting the hill. The road dead ends on State Park Land.

Part of the Paseo Miramar Road was covered with landslide material, it has been cleared (below).

The house that Ryan Kavanaugh built for $25 million was sold to Kawhi Leonard for $17 million and sits above Paseo Miramar.

This past week, a senior investigator for the city came and temporarily shut down the “mud removal” and brush clearance.

Crest Real Estate is expediting the project and CTN reached out to that firm’s Tony Russo and Alex Whitehead on June 13 and asked “Can you tell me if there is a B permit for the grading that was done on Paseo Miramar. If there is, when was it received and by whom?” CTN could not find a City-approved grading permit.

Crest Real Estate Principal Steven Somers responded to CTN’s query the next day. “Permits for the debris and mud clearance were issued on May 8 by the Bureau of Street Services. Inspectors from both the Bureau of Street Services and the Bureau of Engineering have visited the site multiple times over the past two weeks and have verified that the work being conducted is covered by the permit that has been issued and may continue.”

Somers was asked about a B-Permit, which would include grading, but has not responded. He responded on June 17 by email “The city determined that the mud and debris clearance was covered by the permit issued by Street Services, and that no separate B-Permit is required at this time. ”

A resident told CTN, “We’re not NIMBYs, but if someone is going to grade underneath a landside, they should have a permit.”

 

DÉJÀ VU:

This sign was taken down illegally to allow excavators on the road in 2023.

In February 2023, CTN reported (https://www.circlingthenews.com/city-permits-required-for-excavation-and-construction-in-paseo-miramar) that a local Palisadian building contractor, using 10-12 workers, illegally removed a city barrier and cut LADOT signs off a closed portion of Paseo Miramar.

“The company then used two excavators to clear and grade a closed portion of the public road. Paseo Miramar, in the 600 block, is not in use, but still considered a viable roadway by the city.

“The private company, hired by developer Ryan Kavanaugh, was asked by residents if they had permits.

“Workers replied they were simply doing brush clearance.

“But the machinery appeared to be widening the road and cutting into the hillside and the toe of property of residents living above the road. Trucks hauled out two loads of dirt. One of the residents lost internet when the company doing the grading, cut a Spectrum line.

In February 2016, Kavanaugh signed an agreement to comply with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in connection with the development of a single-family home, which Kawhi Leonard eventually purchased for $17.1 million.

In that agreement, Kavanaugh withdrew an application for the street vacation of Paseo Miramar, and the City Council approved a haul route for development of the single-family home.

For Kavanaugh to move forward with developing the lots, he would need to abide by the contract he signed in 2016, which would require him to obtain an initial study per CEQA and apply for all permits.

Members of the Miramar Homeowners Association told CTN, “We’re not NIMBYS. We do not oppose any building on private property. But we would like the city to enforce their own laws on developers to ensure safety of life and property in a beautiful, but fragile landscape, as they do to all of us homeowners.”

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4 Responses to City Makes Decisions Based on 1940’s Map

  1. Eileen says:

    Outstanding job of reporting!

  2. Karl says:

    Headline should read “1940s Map” not “1940s May”

  3. David says:

    Without commenting on this particular case, we have a real problem on the Westside with developers coming into hillside communities and building homes that are out of scale with the surrounding neighborhood. In doing so, they wreak havoc on the local quality of life for months — if not years — at a time. Then, after violating a community with their parade of trucks, with street damage, with blocked driveways and held traffic, with workers who smoke in fire zones, with materials delivered on the street instead of to the job site, the developer just vanishes, on his way to some other unsuspecting community to do it all over again.

  4. Margot says:

    This intrepid reporting covered all bases just like this Kavanaugh needs to do!!! CEQA needs to be enforced, NOT just be a monetary exercise with a signature. Single Family Residences being built by end users are held to the letter of CEQA in LA County’s and City of Malibu coastal zone. Is LA City so large that they could care less?

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