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Silver Lake Residents Torn Over Plans To Turn Old Church Into New Trendy Hotel

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SILVER LAKE (CBSLA.com) — Residents of Silver Lake are torn over a proposal to turn an 83-year-old church into a trendy hotel.

The plan calls for the church to become a 25-room, 18,000-square-foot boutique hotel and restaurant at 1629 Griffith Park Boulevard.

Both sides agree it would bring business to the area, but residents can’t agree if the increased revenue is worth the added traffic and noise. The restaurant would serve alcohol, and there would also be dancing on the premises, within earshot of some homes in the vicinity of Griffith Park Boulevard and Lucile Avenue.

Pilgrim Church has been closed for several years. Mainly used for film shoots, a local businesswoman and restaurateur wants to bring a new business into the busy area near Sunset Boulevard.

CBS2’s Art Barron attended a meeting of those opposed to the plan and later attended a hearing at City Hall where those in favor got a chance to speak.

John Lee spearheads neighborhood opposition to the plan.

“This is a disaster kind of waiting to happen,” Lee said. “There are residences, some as close as 8 feet away.”

“This would be a constant operation,” says Lucia Marano, a hotel opponent. “It wouldn’t be keeping with the fabric and the feeling of the community.”

Dana Hollister, who declined to be interviewed, leases the church from Presbytery of the Pacific, the building’s owner.

But she needs the green light from the zoning administrator.

Hollister and hotel supporters rented a bus to go to City Hall, while those who are opposed took their separate cars, Barron reported.

There was an overflow crowd at a public hearing before the assistant zoning administrator.

While many are worried a hotel would be too noisy and create a parking nightmare, some residents support it, saying it could enhance the area.

“We really need this amenity,” Sara Dale said. “And also we need that space to be activated and active and contribute in a positive way.”

Hollister’s plan highlights the benefits to the community, including new streetlights and trees and 24-hour security. There would also be free shuttle service to and from proposed off-site parking.

“Dana’s hotel would be a locally owned business that would bring crime [in the area] down because of the security that it offers in a place that has been left empty for four years,” hotel proponent Bich Ngoc Cao said.

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Mitch O’Farrell support the hotel plan.

Now, it’s up to the zoning administrator to made a decision.

Barron reported a decision from the administrator is expected to take about five weeks.

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