LOS ANGELES — Plans for a luxurious Bulgari hotel nestled in the hills of Benedict Canyon in Los Angeles, have been met with both support and opposition. The proposed project includes a 50-room hotel, eight residences, a spa, a movie theater, a sushi bar, and a restaurant, set to open in three years.
But Los Angeles Council member Katy Yaroslavsky, a former land use attorney, opposes the project. She argues that the hotel’s location contradicts the general plan..
“As proposed, the Bulgari hotel project would build a luxury playground for the ultra wealthy, high up in a low density residential hillside community. I actually went out two Sundays ago and saw it. It’s a gorgeous oak studded Canyon, not where a hotel goes,” Yaroslavsky said.
Yaroslavsky points out that the Santa Monica Mountains have not seen a new hotel since 1940, as the focus has been on mitigating wildfire risks and avoiding intensification of land use.
She believes that constructing a hotel and mega mansions in such a beautiful area, where a few houses would suffice, is the wrong direction for the community. Yaroslavsky also raises concerns about potential conflicts of interest surrounding the project, referring to the hiring of a lobbyist who is married to a former director of planning and legislation.
Despite the passionate arguments presented during the City Council meeting, the final vote ended in a tie, allowing the project to proceed for now.
Yaroslavsky expresses her plans to continue fighting against the development, anticipating a new council member’s involvement in the future. She believes the City Planning Department will not certify the project’s environmental impact review, as it fails to demonstrate sufficient benefits that outweigh the detractions.
Yaroslavsky concludes that the project will either be halted sooner or later, as the community and the Santa Monica Mountains’ well-being take precedence.
Outside of the Bulgari hotel project, Yaroslavsky has been actively involved in addressing homelessness in her district. Through initiatives like the Inside SAFE Program, she has worked alongside Mayor Karen Bass to offer housing and support services to homeless individuals.
Yaroslavsky describes the experience as incredibly moving and gratifying, emphasizing the positive impact of providing individuals with a safe and stable living environment.
However, challenges persist, including relocating individuals far from their previous locations because of limited available housing options in certain districts.
Yaroslavsky stresses the need for abundant interim and permanent housing in all districts to effectively tackle homelessness.
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