It appears that hotel and restaurant worker union Unite Here Local 11 has gathered enough signatures to overturn the City of West Hollywood’s approval for the private Arts Club on Sunset Boulevard. That means the matter will officially be placed on the March ballot, putting the West Coast arm for London’s 155-year-old private social club in jeopardy.
The West Hollywood Council gave the Arts Club its approval on September 4, which according to WEHOville was necessary because the development goes beyond the city zoning ordinance. The site of the project is the former Sunset Hustler store, which the Arts Club wants to replace with a 120,000-square-foot, nine-story multi-use building. The top floors are slated for members-only, with a private restaurant, screening room, hotel rooms, and rooftop pool. But there’s a 2,000 square foot bistro, art gallery, and intimate entertainment venue that favors an old-school jazz club for the public.
John Heilman is the only West Hollywood Council member who opposed the project. Heilman’s objections have to do with the Arts Club’s going beyond the Sunset Specific Plan. Drafted in 1996, the Plan manages the neighborhood’s growth, promotes responsible development, and preserves the character of Sunset Boulevard. The Arts Club is 3.5 times higher, and the floor-area ratio is nearly six times larger than what is permitted under the Sunset Specific Plan and the city ordinance.
The ballot measure is on the Council’s agenda on Nov. 19, where the four-member Council can vote to rescind the Arts Club’s approval, or simply leave it to the March 2019 ballot.