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Beverly Hills approves high-rise plans

April 22, 2008 8:19:02 AM PDT
The Beverly Hills City Council is moving forward with plans to build a high-rise complex at the site of the Beverly Hills Hilton.The Council approved the final steps of the project - which includes a hotel, condos, and conference center - with a 3-2 vote on Monday night. A second vote, set for next month, is needed to finalize the development.

The Beverly Hills North Homeowners Association plans to gather signatures to put a referendum on the ballot to overturn the Council's decision. It will also call for a recall of council members who support the project.

"This is so pitiful, so pitiful. I'm hurt by it, I'm generally hurt by it," said Beverly Hills resident Terre Thomas. "I raised my children here, and I feel pushed out, and I don't want to feel pushed out. This is my home."

Residents say the project will only add to the already congested Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards intersection and cause more hotel employees to park on their streets.

"We have people from the Hilton Hotel coming to our street and parking. They dress on our front lawn. They smoke cigarettes on our front lawn, and they eat their lunch there," said Beverly Hills resident Joy Shefter.

Corrine Verdery from Oasis West Realty said the project includes a proposal of about 1,100 new spaces to the property for a total of 1,900 spaces for parking, with the flexibility to do about 300 more in the future.

"There is more than enough parking," Verdery said.

Developers also said they will add an extra lane to all streets surrounding the complex.

The project is expected to produce about $700 million in revenue over the next 30 years. The final reading of the City Council decision will be on May 6, and in the meantime, opponents will have to collect 3,500 signatures to put the issue on a November ballot.

 

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