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Judge allows project near Palladium to move forward

LOS ANGELES — A judge has blocked an attempt by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to prevent the construction of two residential towers near its headquarters, it was reported July 12.

The foundation filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court in 2016 seeking to overturn approval of the project, which would be located in the parking lot behind the Hollywood Palladium and be called the Palladium Residences.

The suit named the city, City Council and developers of the Palladium Residences Project, CH Palladium, LLC and CH Palladium Holdings, LLC, as defendants, and tried to claim the planning approval process for the project violated the California Environmental Quality Act, the City Charter, the Los Angeles Municipal Code and other laws.

But Superior Court Judge Amy D. Hogue’s ruling said city officials followed the state’s environmental laws in approving the project, and that the city properly determined that the project’s “aesthetic impacts” were not significant, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“We believe and assert in our lawsuit that the pattern and practice of the mayor, city attorney, city Planning Department, city Planning Commission and City Council operating in defiance of an express City Charter limitation on authority to process and grant general plan amendments is a willful failure to comply with public duties imposed by the city’s fundamental land use laws,” Michael Weinstein, AIDS Healthcare Foundation president, said when he announced the suit.

The City Council voted 12-0 in 2016 to approve the project, which will be located next to the foundation’s headquarters. Weinstein told The Times he plans to appeal the ruling.

The $320 million project, at 6215 Sunset Blvd., would be built on a 3.6-acre site that takes up a block bounded by Selma, Argyle and El Centro avenues, minus an area taken up by an existing business on the northwest corner.

The plan calls for construction of 731 residential units, which could range from studios to three-bedroom apartments spread out between two towers of up to 30 stories each, with some commercial and retail space on the ground floor.

The plan includes preservation of the existing Hollywood Palladium concert venue.

At the time the project was approved, Aaron Green, a spokesman for Crescent Heights, another of the project’s developers, and vice president of a lobbying firm, said the lawsuit was “simply frivolous.”

“The Palladium Residences was unanimously approved by the city Planning Commission and City Council, and Council member Gil Cedillo has called it a ‘model project,’” Green said.

“The Palladium Residences has more than 3,500 supporters and provides desperately needed housing at rates regular people can afford.”

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