WeHo City Council Said to Be Considering Purchase of the Lions Club Log Cabin

The Lions Club log cabin at 621 N. Robertson Blvd.

The West Hollywood City Council is said to be considering making an offer to the City of Beverly Hills for the Robertson Boulevard lot that is home to the Lions Club log cabin, a meeting place for many addiction recovery groups.

That property was on the Council’s closed session agenda for Monday night. A closed session is one to discuss personnel or legal matters in private.

Several people were invited in to offer their opinions on the Lions Club’s log cabin at 621 N.Robertson. Victor Omelczenko, president of the West Hollywood Preservation Alliance, spoke in favor of preserving the building.  In a statement to the City Council, the WHPA urged it to authorize the purchase of the two adjoining parcels of land at 617 and 621 N. Robertson Blvd.

“That purchase would help preserve the 2,000+ square foot historic log cabin building that has served the recovery community for many years and would enable the city to plan for future community uses – perhaps affordable housing? – on the remaining nearly 13,000 square feet of land,” the WHPA said in its statement.  It also noted that the log cabin, which was constructed in the late 1920s or in the 1930s, was deemed eligible for designation as a historically significant property in a 2015 survey by the city of commercial places.

Mark DeRosa, a member of the board of the West Hollywood Recovery Center, also spoke at the closed session meeting.  Another person at the meeting said that DeRosa told the Council that the Recovery Center was willing to commit $150,000 to preserve and update the log cabin.  DeRosa declined to confirm or deny that in an exchange of texts with WEHOville.  The Recovery Center’s addiction recovery groups meet at the city-owned Werle Building across Robertson Boulevard from the log cabin.

L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, whose 3rd District encompasses West Hollywood, has written a letter to Beverly Hills City Manager George Chavez expressing her support for preserving the log cabin. “The Log Cabin’s demolition would be an unprecedented loss of a true safe space for vulnerable members of the community,” Kuehl wrote.

Chavez notified Gyula Kangiszer, president of the West Hollywood Lions Club, in a letter dated Jan. 10, that it was terminating the Lions Club’s lease on the property. While its lot at 621 N. Robertson Blvd. is within the West Hollywood City limits, it is owned by the City of Beverly Hills.

In the letter, Chavez noted that the Lions Club’s original lease, dated Nov. 3, 1976, had expired on July 1, 1977, and that a recent audit of the city’s land holdings revealed that the Lions Club has not paid rent on the property in the 42 years since then. Chavez said a contractor had inspected the property and “found portions of the building in poor condition.”

Objections to the demolition of the log cabin led the City of Beverly Hills and the City of West Hollywood to issue a statement saying they are discussing developing a “shared approach” to providing options for the Lions Club and addiction recovery groups that have used the cabin as a meeting place.


newest oldest
Notify of
gary o
Guest
gary o

This Lions Club Cabin is an import part of Gay History in WEHO
and Should be protected thanks

Very Concerned Citizen
Guest
Very Concerned Citizen

Yes, the city can buy it and then with a statement of overriding considerations tear it down and put up a parking lot.

Senior
Guest
Senior

Why do the drug addicts and alcoholics get so money allocated to them and so much city attention and the seniors who live here get crumbs.

Vigilant
Guest
Vigilant

Dear Wehoville,
Would you please provide a set of photographs of the interior and exterior of The Log Cabin so the general public may review its decrepitness.
Thank you

Henry (Hank) Scott
Admin

We don’t have such photos, but would love to get them if someone wants to share them.

Alan Strasburg
Guest
Alan Strasburg

Curious that closed sessions of the council which are designed to discuss personnel and legal matters now extend to discussing real estate transactions which should be conducted in full sunlight. Whatever happens, one should be highly skeptical that the City of West Hollywood will pay a fair market value for the property based on an independent and impartial fair market analysis. The emotional arguments for the decrepit building have all but eliminated that as a possibility. I’m all for safe spaces, but perhaps we could also use the shack to shelter our homeless neighbors at night whilst we await whatever… Read more »

TomSmart
Guest
TomSmart

The city can always buy it then donate it to Faring!! ~ Smirk~

Ham Shipey
Guest
Ham Shipey

NO. Waste of tax dollars.

Vigilant
Guest
Vigilant

Although sworn to advance and uphold the ordinances of the City of West Hollywood, Councilmember Duran appeared to make a choice playing to his base who will be handy in his campaign for re-election. He has visibly distanced himself from the core issue of the Log Cabin and what it represents, literally and figuratively, in many public statements and appearances. Consistent words about the “recovery community” and not one respecting preservation of a Historic Resource. Both of these subjects presumably share a cornerstone of respect. Councilmember Duran appeared to show respect only for himself which, if one believes an old… Read more »

Mark T
Guest
Mark T

The city of West Hollywood already owns several lots that they don’t put affordable housing on. Why would anyone think they would build some on this lot? The log cabin is an eyesore – no one doubts the need for recovery centers, but this decrepit building needs to go.

Mauer
Guest
Mauer

It’s not the building..it’s what goes on IN the building…and that can be carried on at any other location nearby. And if the city does end up purchasing the building…for Godsakes fix it up! It looks like a real dump. Charming…but a real dump. All these people professing how special it is..how about donating some money or time to help clean up the property and then helping to maintain it.