The West Hollywood City Council last night put the brakes on a survey of homes on the Eastside intended to create a “thematic district” of Craftsman-style houses.
The survey, which was proposed by Councilmember John Duran last year, already has identified 30 of 164 houses as eligible for that “thematic grouping” designation. A building in the area ultimately designed as being in the Craftsman style would be considered a cultural resource and could not be demolished unless its owner could prove that keeping it would cause him or her financial hardship. Any proposed alterations to such buildings would have to be reviewed by the city’s Historic Preservation Commission.
A standing-room-only crowd turned out at a March 15 hearing before the Historic Preservation Commission. http://www.wehoville.com/2017/03/16/residents-object-to-craftsman-designation-of-eastside-homes/ Most of those in attendance declared their opposition to the district, citing the impact it would have on the value of their property and their ability to alter it as they pleased. The Craftsman thematic district is supported by the West Hollywood Preservation Alliance.
Councilmember Duran suggested last night that the Council create a subcommittee composed of him and Councilmember John D’Amico to work with local residents on their concerns. Meanwhile, he said, the city should “put the brakes” on the process of designating Craftsman houses.
But Councilmember John Heilman objected to that, citing complaints he has heard from many residents of the survey area, which is bounded by Genesee Avenue on the west, Norton Avenue on the south, Gardner Street on the east and Hampton Avenue on the north.
“I would like to ask that this be brought back to the Council for some discussion rather than have some subcommittee work with the neighbors,” Heilman said. The Council needs to decide whether we want to move forward, whether we want to mothball it …” Heilman said that one option should be to completely end the project.
City Manager Paul Arevalo agreed that no further work would be done on the Craftsman assessment until the City Council gets another chance to consider the project at a future meeting.