West Hollywood’s Historic Preservation Commission will be asked Tuesday to allow the owner of the apartment building at 8214-8218 W. Norton Ave. between Fountain and Santa Monica to convert it to a bed and breakfast inn.
Cheri Woods, the building’s owner, had applied this spring to have the building designated an historic resource, citing the fact that Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, and his girlfriend, Pamela Curson, lived in the building from the summer of 1969 to March 1971. Under the city’s zoning regulations, such an historic designation would allow Woods to convert the five-unit apartment building into a four-unit bed and breakfast inn.
The Commission asked Woods to present more information about Morrison’s connection with the building. The city’s Department of Community Development, having reviewed the additional information presented by Woods, now is recommending that the Historic Preservation Commission approve Woods’ request.
Woods intends to evict two current residents if her request to convert the rent-controlled building to a bed and breakfast is approved. One of the tenants, who is disabled, pays rent of $700.74 a month. The other pays $707.23 a month. Wood is working with the city’s Rent Stabilization and Housing Division to withdraw the property from the rental market.
Woods will rent out four of the apartments to tourists and keep one for herself. Bed and breakfasts are permitted in buildings designated as cultural resources in the city’s R3 and R4 residential zones.
The Commission also will consider a recommendation by the Community Development Department that it approve a petition by the owner of the Fountain Lanai building to reduce his property taxes for ten years while he renovates that building, which has been designated historically significant.
That building, at 1285 Sweetzer Ave., was designed by Edward Fickett. Fickett, who died in 1999, designed more than 60,000 houses in a style that came to be known as California Modernism. The Fountain Lanai is one of only five of the 37 Fickett buildings still standing in West Hollywood.
According to a document presented to the Commission, the owner plans to spend $542,00 over the next ten years repairing the building’s balcony parapets, repair or replacing decks, repainting exterior walls and replacing damaged siding as well as installing new plumbing and a new electrical system. If the Commission grants his request, which is made under the provisions of a state law known as the Mills Act, he will save $275,000 in property taxes over that ten-year period.
Finally, the Commission will be asked to approve a request by Beach Nation, an outdoor restaurant on the northeast corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Sweetzer, to enclose a portion of the rear covered patio at an adjacent space that once housed Irv’s Burgers. The request also seeks permission to build separate dry storage structure and an outdoor dining counter integrating the burger stand with the Beach Nation restaurant. Beach Nation is also asking that a requirement to add another parking space be waived. A certificate of appropriateness is needed because the burger stand was designated as a “local cultural resource” in 2005.
In its staff report, the Community Development Department recommends that the Commission approve the project.
The Commission will meet at 7 p.m. at the Plummer Park Community Center, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. near North Fuller.