Brookside considers its preservation options

| June 1, 2017 | 0 Comments

CITY PLANNER Ken Bernstein and CD4 staffer Julia Duncan take questions from neighbors.

Before further pursuing an Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ), residents attending the May 18 Brookside Homeowners Association community meeting were asked to consider seeking adoption of one of the city’s new single-family (R1) variation zones.

An example cited by city staff was the new R1 Rear-Mass Variation Zone (R1R), at the lowest lot coverage (R1R3), with rear garages only (R1R3-RG). That may be appropriate future zoning because it is similar to existing development in the neighborhood.

“That is what our office thinks will be the best solution for the community as opposed to going down the route of an HPOZ,” said Julia Duncan, senior planning deputy for Councilmember Ryu.

Speaking to neighbors at the Memorial Branch Library, Duncan noted that it had been a “very long” and “exhausting” process to get an HPOZ finally adopted in the Miracle Mile.

“It really depends on what Brookside wants. Is it about the preservation of architecture, or is it about scaling and size? That’s something we need to have a discussion about with the community.”

The new R1R variation zones, which went into effect earlier this year, govern both the scale and mass of single-family homes. However, the zones do not address building style or architectural preservation requirements.

An Interim Control Ordinance currently protecting Brookside expires in July 2018, so Duncan says now is a good time for the CD4 office to introduce a motion in support of a new variation zone:

“If you want to have an R1R3-RG zone — or some variation similar to La Brea-Hancock or Larchmont Heights — now is the time to get that in the pipeline.”

Principal city planner Ken Bernstein echoed Duncan’s caution about pursuing an HPOZ.

“It is not an easy road,” he said. “The amount of community outreach, education and working through a preservation plan takes longer and is more labor-intensive than choosing a zone that’s already been calibrated.”

Bernstein notes that the process of getting a new variation zone, on the other hand, “can probably happen in a matter of months.”

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Category: Real Estate

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