A plan to build a luxury hotel in Benedict Canyon continues to move forward after the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday deadlocked on a vote to halt the review process.
The 7-7 vote rejected a proposal by the council member serving that area to stop the administrative process for the 58-room Bulgari Resort Los Angeles project.
Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky, who moved for the halt, told the Los Angeles Times she was “deeply disappointed” by the vote.
“This is a bad project,” Yaroslavsky added to the Times. “The process was deeply flawed. It’s Exhibit A for the idea that if you pay enough money to enough lobbyists and you pay for a [project labor agreement], you can build whatever you want, wherever you want.”
In addition to environmental concerns of building on a hillside in the Santa Monica Mountains and worries about the impact on residents of the neighborhood, Yaroslavsky has also cited ethical concerns.
The previous representative of Council District 5, Paul Koretz, supported the project despite his former planning deputy being married to one of the land use consultants hired for the hotel.
“There is absolutely no evidence that the City Ethics Office or the City Attorney’s Office were ever consulted about this clear conflict of interest that this presented and whether or how they could mitigate that conflict,” Yaroslavsky told City News Service.
One of the council members who voted against Yaroslavsky’s proposal, Monica Rodriguez, said the airing of an unconfirmed ethics allegation concerned her.
“There’s a lot of discretion that we have in every land use decision that we make around this horseshoe,” Rodriguez said. “We discovered it after the fact, in many circumstances, how that privilege, that responsibility, was abused. Here, there’s nothing proven, and so the allegation is an allegation, unproven.”
The matter is scheduled to be voted on again on Wednesday, though it remains to be seen if any votes will change.