The Controversial Resort Planned In Benedict Canyon Was Challenged
By Dolores Quintana
Council District Five City Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky submitted a motion “requesting the Director, Department of City Planning (DCP), to consider rescinding the initiation of a General Plan Amendment (GPA) for the Retreat at Benedict Canyon Project.” On May 16, it went up for a vote in the Los Angeles City Council Chambers.
The proposed Bulgari Resort in Benedict Canyon would be the second resort that Bulgari would open in the United States and they plan on opening it in 2026. It would be a 58-suite resort with eight estates on 33 acres set in a remote area of the Santa Monica Mountains. The first resort is planned for Miami, Florida in 2025.
There is strong opposition in the community to the resort and since it is part of Los Angeles that is in Council District 5, Councilmember Yaroslavky’s attempt to stop the project isn’t a surprise. The vote was deadlocked with seven council members voting no and seven council members yes.
Yaroslavsky posted her speech in the city council’s chamber on Facebook after the vote which came with a statement that said, “Today’s vote on my motion to stop the Bulgari Hotel project was a disappointing outcome, but it is not the end. The Council today in effect gave tacit approval to the idea that if a developer has enough money and enough lobbyists, they can build whatever they want, wherever they want.
Instead of listening to the overwhelming outpouring of community support to end this project now, the City will now waste hundreds more hours of staff resources on a project that, on its merits, will not be approved. I thank my colleagues who stood with me today and all of my colleagues for their time and consideration of this matter.”
Yaroslavsky also referenced one of the project’s ethical issues regarding one of the lobbyists, Stacey Brenner, for the project who was married to Shawn Bayliss who was the Planning and Land Use Deputy for CD 5 under Paul Koretz in her speech.
The process of approving this project is still ongoing and there will be another vote on the matter in the next week as well as the release of the environmental impact report from the City Council’s Planning Department.