BEVERLY HILLS : Changes Ordered in 'Garish' Planet Hollywood Design

Heeding the complaints of residents, the Beverly Hills City Council has ordered Planet Hollywood to modify the architectural design for the upscale hamburger restaurant planned for Wilshire Boulevard.

The council unanimously agreed Tuesday that features including pink window awnings and the restaurant's brightly colored sign depicting a planet and stars clashed with the "sophisticated" style of the surrounding neighborhood.

Council members also rejected the restaurant's plan to place a cement wall of celebrity handprints outside the building, with several members saying it would be an "attractive nuisance."

Planet Hollywood architect Jay Valgora said the restaurant had been designed specifically for the 9560 Wilshire Boulevard site--once a Gumps department store--arguing the facade was both "understated" and "elegant."

The council's ruling was prompted by appeals filed after the city Architectural Commission approved the project. The appeals, by the Southwest Beverly Hills Homeowners Assn. and former Planning Commissioner Rose Norton, argued the restaurant would look "garish."

The homeowners assn. withdrew its appeal Tuesday morning after negotiating an agreement under which Planet Hollywood representatives agreed to provide, among other things, free validated parking after 6 p.m.

But Norton and half a dozen residents appeared at Tuesday night's council meeting to complain the restaurant would still create traffic, parking and noise problems in the neighborhood.

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