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Yes folks, that's right. We won the appeal. (Well, the first round, at least).
We thought we had a good chance as we did have some solid legal arguments, but to our surprise The East Los Angeles Area Planning Commission voted unanimously in our favor to grant the appeal, thus overturning the Planning Department's decision to allow the conversion.
The Commission agreed that the application was incorrectly accepted by the Planning Department to begin with, that too few tenants were willing or able to buy, that the 3.8% vacancy rate was significant, and that the cumulative impact of this conversion and other conversions past present and future in the surrounding area was significant enough that the conversion should not have been approved in the first place.
This was a landmark decision, and an important precedent has now been set for future conversions that come before this Commission.
Slowly but surely the tide is turning and people are finally starting to sit up and listen - and to take note of the gravity of the situation.
Yesterday's decision will have a positive impact for future conversions that come before this Commission (we especially hope it has an impact in areas hard hit by this conversion trend, like Silver Lake) and ideally it will have an impact at the first stage of the conversion process - when the application is made to the Planning Department.
However, it's not over yet as a second and final appeal can still be placed by the losing party, which we assume the developers will proceed with.
This appeal comes before the entire Los Angeles City Council.
The good news is that we enter this appeal with certain things in our favor already: it is an advantage having the unanimous support of the ELAAPC behind us, and also the support of Council District 13.
Not only is Eric Garcetti our Council Member, he is also the President of the Los Angeles City Council, and his office have been incredibly supportive of our case. [ZUMA DOGG SAYS WATCH TO SEE WHICH WAY HE VOTES BEFORE YOU PRAISE HIS SUPPORT. ZD KNOWS THE GUY.]
We still have work ahead of us, who knows how this last appeal will go, but we'll all know soon. The window to place the second appeal is very short, and once it has been applied for the hearing must take place within 70 days, so either way this will all be settled in the next few months. We will keep everyone up to date as the situation proceeds.
Once again we would like to thank every one of you who came out to support us and who spoke out on our behalf, your contribution and support was invaluable, so we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Clio and John
Edgecliff Dr., Silver Lake.