The West Hollywood City Council will consider tonight whether to put a 45-day moratorium on the demotion or exterior alteration of Craftsman style houses in an area of the city’s Eastside.
The proposed moratorium will be the subject of a public hearing at the Council’s meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. at the City Council chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., south of Santa Monica.
The idea for a moratorium emerged in an earlier meeting at which the Council considered a proposal by Councilmember John Duran for a survey to identify culturally significant Craftsman houses in area zoned for single-family or duplex houses centered on Lexington Avenue. The Council decided to extend the survey area to include homes on Hampton, Lexington and Norton Avenues between Genesee and Gardner avenues. It also agreed to consider enacting the moratorium that will be on the agenda tonight
The moratorium will not affect internal renovations of Craftsman buildings or limit renovations for buildings whose owners already have received approval of an application to make changes.
The Council may extend the moratorium after another public hearing for a total of 365 days. After one year, the Council may adopt another one-year extension, for a total maximum moratorium period of two-years.
A building designated as a cultural or historic resource cannot be demolished unless its owner can prove that keeping it as it is will cause him financial hardship. Any proposed alterations to such buildings must be reviewed by the city’s Historic Preservation Commission.
Craftsman-style homes typically have a low-pitched roof, wide front porches, exposed beams and natural looking materials and earthy colors. According to a report prepared for the council, there currently, there are 16 Craftsman structures designated citywide. Five are in the city’s Craftsman District, an historic district on North Hancock Avenue and North Palm Avenue. Eight are part of the Old Sherman thematic grouping, which covers the area once occupied by the Town of Sherman.