New rules seek to champion old buildings

Los Angeles /
Dec.December 30, 2016 03:30 PM

Historic properties in L.A. could soon score another layer of protection.

A new set of proposed rules spearheaded by Councilmember Jose Huizar would make it illegal for property owners to demolish a building once the Cultural Heritage Commission agrees to consider an application to classify it as a landmark. Under current law, potential historic-cultural monuments can be razed if the commission has yet to make a decision to consider the structure.

The amendments would also give property owners a fairer due process. The new rules would require notifying property owners immediately after a completed application seeking landmark status for their structure is received — under current law, property owners are frequently ignorant of the fact that such applications are pending.

“Anyone can apply for historic cultural monument, and that’s the crux of these changes,” a city official told The Real Deal. “Fairly frequently, it’s not the property owner who submits the application.” Because they would be notified earlier, property owners could better prepare for making the case against a designation if they have future development plans for the site.

The proposed ordinance would also extend the time the commission and the City Council haves to decide on the designation, giving them 60 extra days on top of the 75 days from the date the application was received.

Those in the industry say preservationists use the historic-cultural monument designation to stifle new development. The status, however, does not mean demolition is impossible, it simply requires developers to go through additional sets of reviews.

The most notable recent example is the proposed Frank Gehry-designed mixed-use project at 8150 Sunset Boulevard, currently the site of a 1960-built bank building designed by L.A. architect Kurt Meyer. The small building has been granted historic-cultural status, but because the Council already approved project itself, it could still be razed.

The proposed amendments will have to go through the Planning and Land Use Management Committee before the Council votes on it, which could happen in the next couple of months.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Disgraced ex-L.A. City Councilman Mitchell Englander. (Getty)
Ex-LA city councilman enters prison in real estate corruption scandal
Ex-LA city councilman enters prison in real estate corruption scandal
Jose Huizar has pleaded not guilty. (Getty, Department of Justice)
Jose Huizar federal corruption trial postponed again
Jose Huizar federal corruption trial postponed again
Mitchell Englander (Getty)
Paying for his play: Ex-LA councilman sentenced in City Hall corruption scandal
Paying for his play: Ex-LA councilman sentenced in City Hall corruption scandal
Onni Group president Rossano de Cotiis and a rendering of Times Mirror Square
Onni Group’s 1.1K-unit Times Mirror Square project nears final approval
Onni Group’s 1.1K-unit Times Mirror Square project nears final approval
Mitchell Englander (Getty)
No jail time for ex-LA councilmember would be “two-tier” justice system: prosecutors
No jail time for ex-LA councilmember would be “two-tier” justice system: prosecutors
Ron Zeff's Carmel Partners has agreed to pay a $1 million fine in connection with the Jose Huizar scandal. Zeff split image at far left and right; Huizar is in middle. (Multi Family Forum, Jose Huziar, SCB)
Carmel Partners agrees to $1M fine in connection with Huizar scandal
Carmel Partners agrees to $1M fine in connection with Huizar scandal
From left, Michael Rosenfeld and Century Plaza, Jose Huizar and City Hall, Jeff Bezos and 1801 Angelo Drive (Getty Images)
LA’s biggest real estate stories of 2020
LA’s biggest real estate stories of 2020
Photo illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal (Getty, iStock)
The secrets still to come in the FBI’s Jose Huizar investigation
The secrets still to come in the FBI’s Jose Huizar investigation
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...