The Inglewood City Council held a Public Hearing on the denial of a Special Use Permit (SUP) for a self-storage facility at 937-959 West Hyde Park Blvd. during the regular city council meeting held Apr. 4.
The Planning Commission heard the matter during its Feb. 1 meeting where the project faced criticism from the community and questions from the commissioners about the security of the building.
According to the staff report, the applicant, Cypress Equity Investments, LLC, was granted approval to build a six-story 156,000 square foot self-storage facility at 943-959 West Hyde Park. On May 24, 2022, the Building and Safety issued a Certificate of Occupancy for the facility.
On Election Day, November 8, the firm filed a request to build a 70,000 square foot addition to the existing structure.
On Feb. 1, the project wasn’t approved because Commissioner David Rice, who represents District 2, couldn’t get a second to move the item to a full vote. There were questions around the applicant seeking to change the colors of roll-up doors, reducing the number of surveillance cameras from 25 to 12, and issues with parking and whether there would be on-site staff during operating hours which are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Rice was appointed to the Planning Commission by Councilman Alex Padilla.
During the April 4 Public Hearing, the public again voiced their concerns with the lack of parking in the area to accommodate the behemoth structure that has “no windows” and implored the council to deny the project.
Resident Marvin McCoy was also concerned about whether campaign donations played a role in the matter making its way to the city council on appeal.
According to campaign finance forms released under the California Public Records Act, Padilla accepted a campaign donation from Cypress Equity Investments, LLC on March 14, 2022, in the amount of $2,500. Two months before their certificate of occupancy was issued.
Their application for the new facility coincides with Padilla outright winning his reelection campaign Nov. 8 with 68% of the vote.
Former Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas was recently convicted of seven counts of public corruption-related offenses as a result of leveraging his office for personal gain.
The Daily Breeze reported in 2018 that members of Padilla’s family held nearly $4 million in property adjacent to the Hollywood Park/SoFi Stadium site.
The councilman’s close ties to the investment firm have raised concerns that Hector Padilla may have been tipped off about the upcoming developments. One former property owner said he wouldn’t have sold to HP Capital in 2014 if it had been disclosed that the owner was a councilman’s relative. He also said he would have increased the asking price if he knew a stadium would be announced in early 2015.Councilman’s nephew invested in properties near Inglewood stadium, arena ahead of public reveals
“I have no equity interest, no investments in ANY realty, investment or development company,” wrote Padilla when emailed questions on the matter. “I have never discussed any potential development in the city with anyone prior to a public discussion at a City Council meeting.”
During the Apr. 4 public hearing, Padilla explained “he didn’t hear” any objections to the project despite protests during the planning commission meeting and public comment during the public hearing.
Perhaps Padilla has 2,500 reasons to “move the project forward”.
Emilie St. John is a contributing writer for 2UrbanGirls.com and the Los Angeles Wave newspaper.