WeHo Puts Craftsman District Project on Hold

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.

craftsman house
Craftsman-style house

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. https://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.


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WeHoboy
Guest
WeHoboy

Rent control is bad enough! Government, stay out of people’s lives. Stop constantly trying to impose your will on other people. Have your home declared whatever you want.

Jim Fritschev
Guest
Jim Fritschev

This should really be a decision for the homeowners involved ..
There are only three people in favor so it seems majority should rule. It’s unfair to the owners who have worked hard to maintain their home and not be able to do what they want with it.

Justine Block
Guest

Romeo, what’s your address so people can judge your house too? Not everyone has the resources you may have, to fix up their properties. That’s actuallly one reason this could be a good opportunity- wouldn’t it be good if the City provides funding for rehab of designated properties as part of this process? Also, I don’t think you’re talking about my house but I will say that it was a run down fiixer when purchased. It’s been fully restored and landscaped. If affected houses here were designated as cultural resources, I think this would be good for the long-term appreciation… Read more »

chloe ross
Guest
chloe ross

My question is this: why did you buy this style of home in the first place. It is a very specific style and not very accommodating by today’s standards. I love it – but why did you choose it in the first place? Coziness? It has that but spacious is not it’s strong suit. Did you buy it as a future which ticket flip or resale? If so be honest. But if you simply want to see the neighborhood remain unique but dislike the idea of a landmark status – present an alternative. Meet in the middle. If indeed the… Read more »

Justine Block
Guest

I recognize a majority of affected homeowners spoke at HPC and signed a petition opposing a historic district- I was at the meeting. I felt the climate was intimidating for any one to speak against the angry majority. I see the same climate on posts here attacking me and others who don’t agree. I ask that opponents recognize the good intentions behind efforts last year to save the remaining Craftsmans. Again I have NOT heard anyone come up with a better way to protect them than the process currently underway, which started with the survey ordered by City Council. Again,… Read more »

J.P. Pecht
Guest

1) I’ve noticed some comments about the fact that the survey was “finalized” only recently – that’s not really accurate. That’s really immaterial since people have known which homes would be targeted well before the HPC meeting. The city released a map of the completed survey long ago and many of us obtained our specific defining characteristics from the city before the finalized survey was officially released. 2) No one is intimidating anyone, either here or at the HPC meeting. People are just mostly against this thematic grouping and are voicing their opinions. If that’s intimidating, then I don’t know… Read more »

Justine Block
Guest

Wow, I’m shocked by comments by my neighbors. This is just an angry mob mentality. Why should only the majority views be considered? I asked people to be reasonable and give staff an opportunity to respond to your concerns. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. I expect people to show appreciation for good intentions to save remaining Craftsmans, and all the hard work that specifically went into stopping demo of 7701 Lex. For the future, if the survey is killed, you will have to battle project-by-project again, and it takes a lot of time & resources. I definitely… Read more »

Mick Mars
Guest
Mick Mars

I HAVE LISTENED TO EVERYONE & HAVE NOW CHANGED MY POSITION. I NO LONGER SUPPORT THE PROPOSED HISTORIC DESIGNATION OF HOMES CHOSEN BY THE CITY’S HISTORIC SURVEY STAFF. The survey was unfair because homes covered by foliage were not even considered. I never thought that homeowners would be forced to be involved. I thought there would be an OPT OUT for those who were against the concept of their homes being historically designated. I WOULD NEVER BE IN FAVOR OF SOMEONE BEING FORCED INTO SOMETHING THEY DISAGREED WITH. As I now see that the majority of designated homeowners are in… Read more »

Brandon M.
Guest
Brandon M.

I am a homeowner in this neighborhood and I oppose the thematic district. I also stood in front of city council a year ago, but I was in opposition of the moratorium. I was the only one in opposition at the time. But do you know why? Because the organizers of this movement, along with the city, FAILED to communicate what was happening in our neighborhood and what impact it would have on property owners. I said it then, I said it at the HPC meeting, and I’ll say it now; this thematic district does not resolve the issue of… Read more »

John Hegarty
Guest
John Hegarty

Justine, it is you that have tried to impose your opinion on others. You lied in saying that you thoroughly canvassed the neighborhood at the beginning. It has become evident that you avoided homes lived in by owners. You focused on renters and who knows what you used as your rallying cry…educated guess is eviction. You used your connections and lied to the city to get this ridiculous study started. The full outrage now shown is exposing you misrepresentation. Mothball this absurd waste of time and money. #justinesalternativefacts

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Over a year ago, I stood in front of city council and spoke in favor of a moratorium. My understanding at the time was we could press pause and figure out how to stop any further demolitions in the neighborhood. Had i known that the end result would be the loss of the ability to choose the plants in my front yard or the color of my house I would have stayed home. I love my 1913 craftsman and take pride in what neighborhood we have left. There has to be a better way than this. I strongly oppose this… Read more »

Patty McGuire
Guest
Patty McGuire

I’m a homeowner in the proposed area. I have to say that Rob’s comments are truthful and consistent with the opinions of the majority of homeowners opposing this survey. To be clear, the homeowners concern is that the survey even exists. Whether intentional or not, the city did not do appropriate community outreach in advance of initiating this process. As the HPC pointed out, they too were concerned about the apparent failure in community outreach prior to survey being ordered. The HPC also posed an important question to the city regarding the simple existence of the survey and its impact… Read more »

Romeo
Guest
Romeo

I wish I could impose my wishes on some of the people that are the proponents of this district because I will get bulldozers and tear down their rat infested, overgrown and unkept homes. With their ilegaly rented garages.
But I like to live and let live.
So, don’t ask me to live by your standards or your ideas of how to keep my neighborhood beautiful.
If you want to do that, you should start with your own house