A long-running plan to build a boutique hotel on Venice's main drag faces a key test on July 15, when the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on four appeals seeking to block the project's construction.

Since 2012, Wynkoop Properties has sought to redevelop an N-shaped property at 1021-1033 and 1047-1051 Abbott Kinney Boulevard with a collection of two- and three-story buildings containing a hotel and ancillary commercial uses.  The project, called Venice Place, would include 78 guest rooms, 2,000 square feet of office space, 8,500 square feet of ground-floor retail, and a 175-car basement garage.

Designed by David Hertz & The Studio of Environmental Architecture, the proposed hotel is depicted as a collection of low-rise structures clad in brick and metal.  Pedestrian bridges would link the buildings together, wrapping three separately owned parcels between the two sites along Abbot Kinney.

Construction of the project is expected to occur over an approximately 18-month period.

The projects appellants - which include a labor union representing hotel workers, the owner of a neighboring property, and an organization which fights short-term rental platforms, and a Venice resident - are each seeking to overturn a zoning administrator's determination issued for the project in March 2020.

The first two appellants -  Unite HERE Local 11 and the owner of the property at 1041 Abbot Kinney Boulevard - argue that Wynkoop's project is incompatible with local and state land use regulations, and should be required to undergo additional environmental review.

The third appellant, Keep Neighborhoods First, is an organization which opposes the conversion of housing into short-term rentals on platforms such as AirBnB.  Their appeal argues that the project would eliminate housing stock which is subject to the City's rent stabilization ordinance, and could open the door to allowing short-term rentals in other apartment hotels.

A staff response notes that the housing referenced in the appeal has already been converted into a daycare business as of 2004, meaning that no affordable units would be replaced by the development.

The City has also published an update to the project's environmental impact report which would define Venice Place as a "hotel," rather than an "apartment hotel," as referenced in the appeal.

The fourth appellant, Susan Kaplan, contends that the project - in addition to allegedly violating zoning and land use rules - is incompatible with the Venice community due to its size, perceived lack of parking, and potential to create crime and noise in the surrounding area.

The staff report recommends that the Area Planning Commission should allow the project to move forward, but grant the appeals in part to account for modifications to the zoning administrator's determination.  Additionally, staff recommended that the Commission should certify the update to the project's environmental impact report.