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LA Council Punts Decision On Controversial Bulgari Hotel Development

Screenshot of a map of the Beverly Hills area, including Benedict Canyon.
(Screengrab Google Maps)
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The controversial Bulgari Hotel project, a luxury hotel proposal in Benedict Canyon, was up for a second critical Los Angeles City Council vote on Wednesday — but councilmembers chose to move the item to August. This motion would stop the project if passed, according to the councilmember behind it, Katy Yaroslavsky.

The council had deadlocked Tuesday with a 7-7 tie and one abstention on the motion.

The motion

Councilwoman Yaroslavsky brought the motion asking the city planning director to consider rescinding the initiation of a General Plan amendment for the hotel, which was introduced in 2018. Yaroslavsky's Fifth District is the site of the proposed 58-room hotel, and she said her motion would essentially end it.

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The backstory

In 2018, the Department of Planning approved a process that would give the commercial project a specific designation, allowing it to be developed in a residential area. However, the project drew opposition from residents, environmental groups, and even Mayor Karen Bass, who has argued that the hotel would be constructed in a fire-prone area.

Opponents also said the hotel would require chopping down protected and significant trees, and that the narrow streets and inadequate infrastructure can't support the 25 buildings the developer plans to build.

The company behind the development has said it will preserve the current trees while adding 1,000 more — but some are skeptical.

What the opposition says

Mark Levin, president of the conservation group Save Our Canyon, said the project would inevitably remove trees and that replacing those trees with younger trees wouldn't provide the same benefits.

"It's very surprising to us that they would attach their name to a project that is so disruptive to the environment, and so inappropriate,” he said.

That development company has not responded to our request for comment. In total, 11,000 people signed a petition opposing the hotel project.

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