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Plan to Convert Silver Lake Church Into Hotel Sparks Debate

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Advocates of a plan to convert a closed, nearly 83-year-old church into a boutique hotel in Silver Lake faced off Wednesday with residents concerned the change would mean less street parking and more traffic and noise.

A standing-room-only crowd packed a public hearing at Los Angeles City Hall to speak out on restauranteur Dana Hollister’s plans for the shuttered Pilgrim Church, located a few blocks from Sunset Junction.

Hollister, who owns several bars and restaurants in the area and in downtown Los Angeles, wants to open an 18,300 square-foot 26-room hotel and restaurant on the property, according to city planning documents. An outdoor pool, patio, courtyard and garden would be part of the proposed hotel, at 1629 Griffith Park Blvd. (map)

Plans for the Pilgrim Church were posted on the developer's website,

Plans for the Pilgrim Church were posted on the developer's website,

The church, considered by some to be an eyesore since it closed, is in a residential area but just one block from busy Sunset Boulevard. The building’s cornerstone was laid in 1931, according to the blog Eastsider LA.

Nearby residents said they were worried about drinking at the hotel's 4,000 square-foot restaurant. Noise from a bar that would be open till 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, lack of parking and traffic congestion were also worries.

Supporters said the neighborhood would benefit from an upscale hotel and that Hollister’s plan was a positive “reuse” of the shuttered church.

Hollister is seeking permits to sell alcohol and allow dancing and live entertainment, among other exceptions to city zoning rules.

A city zoning administrator will determine whether the proposal moves forward.

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