Coastal Permits Needed for Much of the Construction in Palisades

Residents, visitors and neighbors enjoy the view from Mt. Holyoke. Now a three-story house is proposed for the land.

A sign was posted at 425 Holyoke that a Coastal Development permit with City Planning had been applied for by Tony Russo of Crest Real Estate. On that vista, the construction of a three-story house with attached garage, and a pool/spa is proposed.

In June 2023, resident Jack Allen wrote to the Coastal Commission, requesting closer scrutiny over City’s Coastal Permits because “the City has consistently approved Coastal Development Permits in the Pacific Palisades, which clearly violate the Coastal Act, its Guidelines, and the Regional Interpretive Guidelines, South Coast Los Angeles County.”

Allen added that  City Planning frequently violates the mandates of SEC. 12.20.2., which include “failure to give:  (1) notice; (2) failures to allow at public hearings interested persons who should have  a reasonable opportunity to testify and present evidence; (3) a failure of providing persons who have requested in writing, that the Notice of Decision be mailed to them; and (4) that the Notices of Decision clearly state the date that an Appeal must be filed, and where and how it may be filed. (/https://documents.coastal.ca.gov/reports/2023/6/Th12a/Th12a-6-2023-corresp.pdf)

Jack Allen

According to Allen, the act requires that the applicant needs to furnish the City a list containing the name and address of each property owner of record and the addresses of all residences, including apartments within 300 feet from each boundary of the site of the proposed development.

“All persons notified of the hearing for the proposed development shall also be notified that the hearing shall include the application for a Coastal Development Permit (CDP).”

Allen also notes that the Certified Neighborhood Council representing the area should also receive notice of the hearing.

Allen points out that since Pacific Palisades does not have a certified neighborhood council, it does not receive notices.

CTN asked if the City or the Coastal Commission had ever responded to him or his query. “No,” Allen said.

CTN wrote to City Planning and asked if it has ever denied a permit and if so, what percentages are denied. In a June 3 email, the City responded “We are working on obtaining the figures for your question about the number of coastal permits. It’s taking us some time to gather this information.”

Once the City provides those stats, the story will be updated.

CTN also asked about the basis on which permits are denied or granted. The Planning department replied “The decision-maker will approve or deny a CDP based on the required findings outlined in Section 13B.9.1.E. Of Ch. 1A.”

They wrote that each case is considered separately and if Planning approves or denies it, a Coastal Development Permit it can be appealed to the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission. “The City’s final action on the CDP can then be further appealed to the State Coastal Commission.”

Planning was asked about how many coastal Permits the City annually grants. No specific number was given because it was explained a project can change as it goes through the review process.

Planning was asked if 425 Holyoke, which is in the single permit jurisdiction area of the Coastal Zone, is approved, what next?

“The City’s action to approve/deny a CDP can be further appealed to the Coastal Commission. If the City approves a CDP and it is not further appealed to the Coastal Commission, the applicant only needs approval from the City.”

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2 Responses to Coastal Permits Needed for Much of the Construction in Palisades

  1. Concerned Palisadian. says:

    Feels like everyone needs to stay on top of this. We have been opposing 425 for over 35 years and it seems like approval processes have been moved around. In the past everything had to go through the coastal commission but now it sounds like only if there is an appeal. These developers have already broken Coastal Commission guidelines by drilling and removing soil without a permit. We need a more active Coastal Commission to hold these rouge developers accountable.

  2. Bart Young says:

    Tony Russo at Crest Real Estate was found guilty of violating the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance in Beverly Hills by failing to register and file disclosure reports for their City lobbying activities in 2017. He and his boss both paid stiff penalties. They apparently have been back a number of times for falsifying information there. Now Pacific Palisades appears to be under attack and City of Los Angeles is his partner. The City of Los Angeles is teaming up with these people and it will hurt Pacific Palisades now and long into the future. We need to be our own municipality whereby our property taxes will go towards what we need with a local government that will respect and uphold our values.

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