At the Pacific Palisades Design Review Board virtual hearing on September 22, the board unanimously voted to disapprove The Hydration Room.
The Hydration Room, which gives vitamin and other IV infusions, was proposed for the space formerly occupied by Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Antioch Street at 874 Swarthmore.
In its motion to L.A. City Planning, the DRB wrote: “The DRB does not feel that the proposed business enhances or protects the community-oriented uses or preserves the quality of the existing residential area.
“It does not promote the general welfare of the community and is inconsistent with the purpose, objectives, and standards set forth in the Specific Plan. The proposed business is inappropriate for the site, surroundings and environmental setting.
“Located across a narrow street, adjacent to a community park, the Village Green, the proposed business is not compatible and consistent with the general character of the community as stated in the Pacific Palisades Specific Plan: Section 2 – B, D, F; LAMC 16:50 Design Review Board Procedures, Section A. Purpose and Objectives; 16.50 A, A2, A3.”
The DRB also noted that LAMC 16.50 states: “The purpose and objective of Design Review Boards is to assist and implement the design goals of communities contained within specific plan boundaries; to establish uniform citywide authority for design review boards to advise the Director of Planning, and/or the Area Planning Commission, on aspects of exterior design, site layout, landscape, signs, and other design elements governed by the specific plan, and ‘to promote the general welfare of the community.’”
In writing the DRB’s determination, members pointed out that Pacific Palisades Specific Plan Section 2F states: “…. and promote the general welfare by prohibiting buildings, structures or uses which are inconsistent with the purposes or standards of this Specific Plan or which are inappropriate to their settings, surroundings …. or their environmental setting.”
DRB members also cited Section 2D: “To assure that the commercial uses are consistent with the general character of the Pacific Palisades community, which consists of single-family residences, some multiple residences structures and significant open space and park-like development.”
Members felt that The Hydration Room was providing a medical treatment procedure that would be better done in a medical office building or hospital, rather than this retail space.
The DRB stated that the proposed plan does not accommodate proper health protocol that would guarantee a sanitary work environment, such as an additional bathroom for staff, clean room for IV preparation, hand-washing sinks for nurses and a janitorial sink.
The DRB also wondered why the City had not required a Conditional Use Permit, especially during this ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a letter sent to the Planning Department, the DRB wrote, “A problematic, palliative medical treatment facility in the center of Pacific Palisades, trendy as it may appear, is not consistent with the established character, identity and ongoing welfare of the Community.”