The Department of City Planning will hold a public hearing on Zoom regarding the Shell Station’s proposed convenience store tomorrow, July 7, at 10 a.m.
Owner Saeed Kohonoff purchased the corner station (at Via and Sunset) after selling his Mobil station (a block away) to Caruso Affiliated.
In January 2017, he went before the Design Review Board and defended his plan to demolish the existing service bay (1,900 sq.ft.) and replace it with a 2,748-sq.ft. mini-mart that would be located against the adjoining Ritrovo restaurant building.
Initially, Kohonoff sought to keep the convenience store open 24 hours a day, but received intense opposition from residents in two adjacent condominium buildings and homeowners on nearby Albright, Charm Acres and Via de la Paz.
The project design and location was approved by the DRB. The five members were mixed on what hours to approve, but the majority voted it could open at 5 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and stay open until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Although the DRB does not control liquor licensing, the board voted 4-1 against alcohol sales.
A public hearing was held in August 2017. No decision was made, but the Zoning administrator held the file open another month to allow further submissions. It appears that the record was closed with no decision rendered.
Attorney Thomas Donovan, who represents the Via de la Paz Association (the condo behind the station), sent a July 6, 2021, letter to the City, in which he stated, “Four years later, the City is conducting a second hearing on the same Project, based on the same 2015 application and upon new documentation submitted by the Applicant after the record was closed. No explanation has been provided as to why it is necessary or appropriate to hold a second hearing.”
Circling the News contacted City Planning and asked: Was a letter of determination ever written [in 2017]? Was the case ever closed? It’s now almost four years later: Is the City or the applicant at fault for the time delay?
Also, will tomorrow be a new hearing? Or is it a continuation of the original? And are there any documents that still need to be provided by the applicant?
No one responded by posting time. In his letter to the Planning Department, Donovan noted that Kohonoff had requested a CEQA exemption; a conditional use permit to sell beer and wine from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.; and a CUP to allow operating hours 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Donovan asked that the project not be approved, and dozens of local residents have reiterated their opposition to the project this past week, in letters to the City and on Nextdoor Palisades.
To make a statement or listen to the virtual hearing, visit https://planning-lacityorg.zoom.us/j/88909682277 Meeting ID: 889 0968 2277 Passcode: 142753.
Participants may also dial by phone: (669) 900-9128 or (213) 338-8477 When prompted, enter the Meeting ID of: 889 0968 2277#