Caruso Development FAQ

Below are questions and suggestions from ALL members of the community who answered the survey.  I received over 200 submissions and because of duplicates arrived at the following 84.  Other than removal of duplicates and consolidation, no questions have been changed.

Councilman Bonin’s Office, the LA Planning Department, The Department of Transportation, our local entities and Caruso Affiliated are all committed to getting these questions answered.

Hopefully, through this process, we can finally all understand more about the development and move on, united, to construction.

 

The questions are broken down by SUBJECT, STATEMENT, AND WHO WOULD BE BEST TO ANSWER.

 

If you have any additional questions or comments, please use the CONTACT button below:

Lou Kamer

 

CARUSO DEVELOPMENT FAQ

1 Can you explain the details of parking numbers and how it is to code?

This will be addressed at City Hearings.

 

2. Also, will CA be providing employee parking?

Every tenant will be required to provide employee parking in the lot and it will be written into their leases.  CA will monitor employees who do not comply through security cameras and notify tenants.  Failure to comply will mean a violation of their lease.

 

3. Do 470 parking spaces comply with requirements under both the Palisades Specific Plan and the general plan or only under the specific plan?

TBD

 

4. What steps has the City taken to alleviate the long-standing and current-existing deficit of public parking facilities in the Palisades Village?

The city has not reviewed parking issues in the Palisades as part of their review of this project.

 

4.2 How will the Village retain its small town feel with so many stores?

TBD

 

4.3 I would like a detailed understanding of the traffic study and impact on all of the Palisades so I understand how the project has zero impact. There hasn’t been any specific mention of traffic impacts to the individual Alphabet streets e.g. Hartzell, Iliff etc. Though traffic studies have been done, according to Caruso, there have not been any Cordon Count studies done recently in the Alphabets. Looking down the road post-development, we will need a reference of impact, in case adjustments need to be made to traffic flow. Why did the traffic studies not include current vs. future car trips cutting through the Alphabet streets?

The requirements for the traffic study performed by the Applicant’s traffic consultant (The Mobility Group) did not require a review of these additional areas.  DOT did not request additional studies upon review.

 

4.4 I am concerned about child safety.

???

 

5 I am concerned about parking in the Alphabet Streets

The request to have parking permit regulated streets is a long and arduous process.  Councilman Bonin’s office has agreed to help with the application process but has little control over implementation.

 

6 Looking at a parking space/retail sq. ft measure that is standard for the commercial real estate industry as well as looking at community satisfaction with CA developments that have less than 1 parking space for every 220 sq. ft (the greater the sq. ft. the weaker the parking ratio). It would be great if they would explain why they think the ratio of 1 parking space/235 sq. ft. will be sufficient. Also, if they don’t want to build a third level of underground parking, why not add one level of parking under the other side of Swarthmore where the Bay Theater will be located?

TBD

 

7 What do you anticipate the peak mall foot traffic to be?

TBD

 

8 As the plans have changed, how have the energy needs and solar changed?

The energy requirements of the development have been reduced from the original design as buildings and uses have changed.  TBD on Solar.

 

9 I am concerned about outside music. Could this music be heard from pedestrians on Swarthmore, Sunset, the alley, or the Paseo? Can this music be heard by residents on adjacent streets?

Music is an important part of Caruso’s design style.  Noise limits outside of the development will be within legal limits.  Locations of outdoor music TBD.  CA has said if it becomes an issue with residents or people do not like, he will turn it off.

 

9.1. There has been a dearth of discussion on noise limits for the development. The Alphabet streets, by the nature of the landscape, receive a tunneling flow of noise from the Village—whether that be traffic, festivals, parade, delivery trucks etc. I’d like more assurances that noise will be mitigated on a daily basis at the new venue. Sure, holiday and occasional noise is fine, but it’s the day-to-day noise that the project will generate that concerns me. A constant din of an urban development can be avoided with proactive planning.

The project will be within the legal limits of noise levels and complaints can be voiced to the CA management office.

 

10 We need residential parking permits rather than 2 Hour parking

See #5 above.

 

11 Can we get speed bumps on Monument to slow traffic? 

DOT has received the request and will review upon completion of the project.

 

12 Is the new plan more in line with the existing aesthetic?

The new plan includes elements requested by the DRB at their first meeting.

 

13 What effect will this have on existing businesses in the Palisades? What effect have your other centers had on existing “mom and pop” businesses?

TBD

 

14 What are your plans for getting people to come to the center? Will you advertise citywide? What is your standard at your other properties?

TBD

 

15 What is the rationale for lining up the end of the alley with Bashford? Won’t this encourage travel into the Alphabets?

This request came from the DOT to create a 4 way intersection.  CA and DOT are now considering keeping the alley in its current orientation.

 

16 Will the price of leasing rates drive up prices at stores?

TBD

 

17 Where will the Farmer’s Market be located and can the trucks park in the underground lot? The angled parking and irregular curb locations seem to make it difficult. Where will they go during construction?

The Farmer’s Market is currently set to return to Swarthmore upon completion and MOST trucks will be able to park in the underground lot.  Where they will go during construction is TBD.  Issues related to their return on a one-way Swarthmore involve a mandatory, LA Fire Dept. access lane of 20′ and approval from the Board of Public Works to use the sidewalk as an alternative.

 

18 We are a family town and I am concerned about the movie theater serving alcohol with so many kids around. How have you dealt with this at your other theaters?

TBD from Caruso.  Out of all Caruso developments, alcohol is currently only served at the Cineopolis Westlake Village theater.  Enforcement involves employee training, undercover monitoring, and selective theater sales.  Although Caruso has not indicated the theater operator he might use here, the National Association of Theater Owners estimates there are currently 700 theaters serving alcohol out of 5,800 theaters, with many more applying for licenses to get people into the theater and out of the livingroom.   There are currently over 40,000 screens in the US.

 

19 How many screens and seats in your theaters?

5 Screens. A total of 300 seats split between 50-75 seats.

 

20 Why is CA only supplying parking at a ratio of 1/235 sq. ft when his successful developments, where people can find a parking spot without driving around and around, have parking/retail sq. ft. ratios of 1/220 sq. ft. (I calculated the Swarthmore ratio assuming that Residential, Office and Property Mgt. will have reserved parking spaces not available to the public; I also removed those sq. footages from the ratio). The larger the sq. footage, the weaker the ratio, and the more negative comments appear on Yelp or other rating sites. 

TBD

 

22 Why does the Palisades need another market?

TBD

 

23 How many restaurants are planned under the new plan?

Currently 5.

 

24  What can you do to bring back LA DASH to the Palisades or some other shuttle service to cut down on existing and anticipated traffic and parking problems, as well as to bring seniors and teens who don’t drive into the village? 

The LA Dash is making a return but there are only 2 new lines planned for the entire city.  These lines will be based on potential ridership and other density factors, which means Pacific Palisades is low on the list.  A potentially public/private service could help entice the city to devote resources to the Palisades.

 

25 Why does CA think that a shuttle bus will work for employees, even if it’s only used at busy times of the year? What about the long-term environmental effects of shuttles (fuel and emissions) that could be avoided simply by building permanent parking now.

TBD

 

27 Again citing the Brentwood-Palisades community plan, Policy 13-1.3 states “Discourage non-residential traffic flow for streets designated to serve residential areas only by use of traffic control measures.” With that in mind, What can we do to keep Swarthmore two-way and keep Bashford from becoming an extension of the Caruso alley?

CA is considering keeping Swarthmore 2 way and keeping the alley off-center with Bashford.  There are petitions for these requests online.

 

28 Brentwood-Palisades Community Plan suggests in 16-1.1 that “The City should establish residential neighborhood traffic and parking management plans as appropriate.” How can we enforce this policy?

TBD

 

29 Why are there not “real” second floors for office, or residential along most of the streets instead of the arbitrary ‘faux” second floors as presented. Would these additions make the street scene more dynamic and lively?

TBD

 

30 DESIGN Your “central plaza” as labeled appears too small as a legitimate gathering area. Could you make the Village Green into a more multi-purpose plaza with more food/ coffee type places, etc. with seating surrounding it?

TBD

 

31 DESIGN Why are all the second floor residential units facing Sunset? Wouldn’t a better location be on Swarthmore or Monument? Couldn’t office space go along Sunset on the second floor?

TBD

 

32 DESIGN Why is there no major access, stairs, elevator or escalator to and from the garage adjacent to Swarthmore? This would provide easier access to all the north side of Swarthmore and the theatres and much more.

There are no escalators in the project and the garage does not extend under Swarthmore.

 

33 Could the valet drop-off and main stairs be shifted north on the alley to a more central area. There are a lot of elderly people that are going to use this village. Should there be a separate escalator location as in Century City?

TBD

 

34 Why is there no handicapped parking shown on the plan? Would this not revise downward the total number of spaces?

Handicapped parking is included in the total number of spaces and will be notated on plans per code.

 

35 Regarding the street changes to (i) the public alley (both footprint and direction), (ii) Sunset Blvd in front of the Mobil station (striping and width and right turn only arrows), and (iii) Swarthmore (footprint, parking architecture, direction, and one-way arrow, is there any analysis or traffic study for the combined effect of these changes together on traffic patterns, business volume, and inconvience to residents? 

No.  This was not completed privately or by DOT.

 

36 Caruso Affiliated has made the argument that a traffic study showing no significant increase in congestion warrants changes to 3 traffic conduits. Can the city or attorneys for CA point to city code that permits citizens to obtain such dramatic changes to traffic conduits simply because there is no significant increase in congestion? For example, if the residents of Monument want to narrow Monument and show it will not significantly increase congestion, will the city agree to narrow Monument if funding can be found for this. Alternatively, if Fiske residents want to widen Fiske, is insignificant traffic impact sufficient to warrant such a change?

TBD

 

37 TRAFFIC If no significant change in traffic does not justify any citizen’s petition for a street change, what is the proper backup documentation warranting such a change. Should there be a cost benefit analysis for the change relative to the status quo or other alternatives?

TBD

 

38 If a cost benefit analysis is required, what are the costs and benefits of the street changes proposed by Caruso on residents and businesses relative to alternatives?

TBD

 

39 Has the alternative of parallel parking on the south side of Swarthmore with a drop off zone and similar parking bulbs to those in the Caruso Affiliated request been considered? If so, can we see the analysis?

TBD

 

40 What is the “downside” of retaining the status quo regarding traffic direction on Swarthmore Ave?

TBD

 

41 What familiarity do you have with a previous attempt to make Swarthmore a one-way street?

TBD

 

42 1. Why is it necessary to change the current one-way direction of the public alleyway that has been the entry and exit path to and from the existing parking lot for many decades?

TBD

2. What is the benefit to the community of making the 20 foot wide alley into a two way access when it will be used for deliveries, drop offs and parking lot ingress and egress as well?”

TBD

 

44 How has the City determined whether or not there would be traffic congestion in this alleyway? 

No.  Since the alley will be vacated, they do not include calculations in their study, only from the feeder streets.

 

45 Has the alternative of a one-way alley with a right turn only on at Monument been compared to the plan for the alley in the Caruso application.

TBD

 

46 What are the city’s plans with respect to narrowing Sunset in front of US bank on the opposite side of Swarthmore? If these plans differ from the plans for Sunset in front of Mobil, what are differences in costs and benefits?=

There are currently no plans to make modifications at this intersection.

 

47 Please provide a document with dimensions showing how wide the sidewalks will be at most location of the development as well at any point in front of establishments that will be subject to the proposed street modifications. 48 TRAFFIC Please point to research showing that 1-way streets are more pedestrian friendly or that traffic is calmed by widening lanes.

TBD

 

49 Why didn’t DOT require the following 3 major intersections included in the Palisades Village Project traffic study: 1. Via de la Paz @ Albright (one of the intersections that would get the projects southbound Swarthmore’s divert traffic) . 2. Via del a Paz @ Antioch (250 feet away and between the project and the elementary schools) 3. Sunset @ Antioch (signalized intersection that effective handles all the right turns for Swarthmore @Sunset, across from the project)

TBD

 

50 Why wasn’t the large number of elementary students (1200) addressed in the Traffic Study so the reviewers could understand that there are 4 elementary schools all within 750 feet of the project?

TBD

 

51 The MND proposes a base plan and a variant plan, but the only plan set we have seen has Sunset building that cannot be used for the variant plan. Please provide an electronic copy of the plan set for the variant plan.

TBD

 

52 The traffic study in the MND takes trip credits for existing businesses. Please provide documentation on what those businesses are generating the trip credits, the square footage in them, and if currently closed, the date of closure and proof of the date of closure.

TBD

 

53 Are there any pending legal issues with respect to title on the Mobil Station? If so, how will this be handled re: construction and going forward

CA is under contract to purchase the Mobil Station.

 

55 Developer has warranted that the 470 parking spaces required will be sufficient to house the vehicles of tenants, their employees, and patrons. Please provide an estimated number of vehicles for each source that will travel to

the development by auto. 

TBD

 

56 Please provide an estimate of the number of visitors to the development each day. If no estimate is feasible, please provide comparable statistics for the following 5 Caruso establishment along with their commercial square footage, broken down by type, and parking spaces. 1) Commons at Calabasas 2) The Grove 3) Waterside 4) Promenade at Westlake Village 5) Lakes at Thousand Oaks. What fraction of tenants/employees park at these five sites?

TBD

 

57 Exactly where will delivery trucks unload or wait to unload within the development and at what hours will such deliveries or waits be permitted?

The majority of deliveries will be in the alley. Times TBD.

 

58 How frequently will trash pickup take place and at what hour?

TBD

 

59 What will be the estimated opening/closing hours for each type of establishment with the development? Separate out restaurants serving vs. no serving alcohol as well as the hours for service at outdoor tables.

TBD

 

60.1. Please point to city code showing that alleys revert to owners of both sides of a property.
60.2. If such code exists, does the code require the alley be vacated if the owner possesses title to property on both sides of only part of the alley? Does Caruso Affiliated own property on both sides of the entire length of the alley?
60.3. Couldn’t the City simply allow Caruso to build its parking structure beneath the alley and then restore it to public use?”

TBD

 

64 Caruso Affiliated requests vacation of the 20-foot-wide Paseo extending from Sunset to the alley. Exhibit B justifies this by stating the Paseo needs to be reoriented and will have 24-foot wide public access. Caruso Affiliated also claimed at the Community Council meeting the alley was taken as an easement from a prior owner and reverts to the original owner upon a sale if the new owner has title to both sides of the previously taken Paseo. Please refer us to the code showing that sales warrant vacation of the Paseo for the reasons outlined above.

TBD

 

65 Does CA or City have documentation that Paseo was taken from a prior owner or was part of a parcel that is included in the parcel purchased by CA.

TBD

 

66 Does CA plan to build on the Paseo or some replacement for it and if so, have they amended Exhibit B requesting vacation of the Paseo?

TBD

 

67 Does CA have legal and clear title to the property on both sides of the current Paseo? If so, please provide documentation.

TBD

 

68 If CA plans to develop on the Paseo, in contradiction to Exhibit B, has there been a cost benefit analysis of the transfer of ownership of the Paseo park to CA for commercial development?

TBD

 

69 Caruso Affiliated requests vacation of approximately 15 feet of public property in front of the Mobil station and conversion of a portion of Sunset Blvd. to replace the lost sidewalk. Caruso Affiliated claimed at the Community Council meeting that the sidewalk was taken for Sunset Blvd. as an easement from a prior owner and reverts to the original owner upon a sale if the new owner has title to the property. Can CA attorneys point to the code showing that sales warrant vacation of the public sidewalk for the reasons outlined above.

TBD

 

70 Can CA attorneys document that the sidewalk was taken from a prior owner or was part of a parcel that is included in the parcel purchased by CA.

TBD

 

71.1. Does CA plan to build on the now public sidewalk?
2. If CA plans to develop on the sidewalk, has there been a cost benefit analysis of the transfer of ownership of the public sidewalk to CA for a commercial building? Has the conversion of a portion of Sunset Blvd. to sidewalk to replace the sidewalk been accounted for in such cost benefit analysisI?” 

TBD

 

72 Does CA have legal and clear title to adjacent to the sidewalk? If so, please provide documentation?

TBD

 

74 Has the City explored any other approaches to help safe crossing of Sunset Blvd., like elongating the time for pedestrian crossing; building a pedestrian/bicycle over pass between the north and south sides of Sunset; or even prohibiting pedestrians from crossing Sunset at the south corner at Swarthmore and requiring crossing only from the north corner; or even requiring underground ramp access from Sunset Blvd. before reaching the Swarthmore corner, in order to get into the Caruso parking structure so cars wishing to enter the Caruso lot will not have to interrupt pedestrian traffic crossing either Sunset or Swarthmore?

DOT has discussed but not documented other alternatives at this time.

 

75 Is there a plan to have amplified outdoor music attached to events, like bands? If so, how frequently will these outdoor music events be held?

CA has suggested weekly Friday afternoon “jazz trios” but whether they are amplified or not is unknown.

 

76 Does CA ever envision using private buses or vans, like tour buses, shuttles from the beach, or trolleys to bring patrons from outside of Pacific Palisades to the development? If not, can we get written assurances?
2. What about transportation from residences to the development?”

CA will not use private transportation to bring patrons from outside of PP or local residents.

 

78 Does CA ever envision promoting its businesses by offering subsidized or free taxi, Uber, or Lyft rides to the development to bring patrons from Pacific Palisades residences or any other location to the development?

No.

 

79 CA has applied for the trademark “Palisades Village” and that application has been denied. Does CA intend to or has it appealed that denial of trademark?

TBD

 

79.2. What other trademarks, copyright, or domain name with the words or sequence of letter “Palisades” or “Pali” has CA applied for and what will be the function of each?”

TBD. CA commonly registers these names at the beginning of each project to ensure others do not take.

 

79.3 Does the PPCC or Chamber of Commerce or other local entities have a trademark, copyright, or domain name policy regarding Palisades or Pali?

No. Not at this time.

 

81 Exactly how will the Specific Plan for the sub area differ from the Specific Plan now in place?

TBD

 

82 Will the Palisades Design Review Board have jurisdiction over the sub-area and the implementation of the Sub-Area’s Specific Plan?

No.

 

83 Has there been a cost benefit analysis of the merits of going the variance route vs. creating a sub-area with its own specific plan?

TBD

 

84 Has a cost benefit analysis been done on the merits of a Sub-Area Specific Plan solely for the development while the Palisades Specific Plan applies to other merchants vs. revising the Specific Plan for the entire commercial village area?

TBD

 

86 During construction and after completion of the project, will the City require Caruso Affiliates to provide convenient alternative parking for employees and customers of neighboring businesses, and for vendors and patrons of the Sunday Farmers Market who presently use the to be removed 128 parking space Monument lot?

No

 

87 Will the Councilman expedite a preferred parking district so that it can be instituted by any street that wants in place before construction can begin?

See #5 above.

 

88 What type of conditional uses will the City agree to propose to protect the local community from any expansion of uses at the project, street closures, and operational restrictions such as hours of operation, noise, piped music, number and placement of liquor licenses? Will a bond be required to be posted by CA to be used in case of violation of such conditions?

TBD

 

89 Is the City opposed to staging the number of liquor licenses in the project over a reasonable period of time to make certain the community is not overwhelmed by any problems that could arise from allowing as many as 10 new licenses being requested?

TBD

 

90 What additional public services will be designated or deployed to the Palisades area as a result of the added burdens arising from the project?

None planned at this time.  The MND document does not indicate that public services grow above a threshold where additional resources are needed.  This may be re-evaluated once operational.

 

91 Will a storm drain that lies beneath the current stores and under the surface lot on Monument be relocated so that a subterranean parking lot can be built? Will this connect under Sunset Blvd. and will this require closure of lanes and for how long?

The plans call for relocation of the storm drain but LA engineering has not released plans on when it will done, where it will be relocated, or how long it will impact Sunset traffic.

 

92 Why were the community room and clock tower removed

The clock tower was removed because of concerns raised regarding height limits per the Specific Plan.  The community room was removed due to its effect on parking.

93.1. CA sells outdoor advertising to Tenants and outside companies at other developments. Are there any plans to do anything similar at this project, either through banners, slips on parking arms, benches, digital kiosks, or through outdoor music systems?

No.

 

2. Does the PPCC or DRB allow such advertising within our town?

The Specific Plan, DRB and LA Municipal Code have restrictions on how advertising can be used. The Chamber and PPCC do not have jurisdiction or guidelines.  Specifics can be found on the www.ppdrb.org page or by searching Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 28.

 

94 What is the expected turnover rate of the garage? How many total cars per day? What about the holidays?

TBD

 

95 How is power distributed throughout the development? Is there a central power station? What is the expected load versus what the solar system will produce?

Power is provided via a 34.7kV line from the Sunset/Via power station via underground, new wiring. Loads and locations to be determined.

 

96 What is the total AC tonnage anticipated by the project. Are there inidividual AC units or a central unit for the whole development?

TBD

 

97 Does the project retain onsite water in a cistern or is it immediately directed into the storm drain? If the storm drain fails, is there a backup plan?

TBD