Speakers talk on Miracle Mile historic preservation

| September 1, 2016 | 0 Comments
MANSIONIZATION in Miracle Mile. Photo courtesy of Miraclemilela.com.

MANSIONIZATION in Miracle Mile. Photo courtesy of Miraclemilela.com.

The need to prevent McMansionization and to preserve the integrity of residences in the Miracle Mile community was echoed by two-thirds of the speakers at a recent meeting. They favor an Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ).

The public hearing and workshop on Aug. 20, sponsored by the city’s Office of Historic Resources, drew more than 90 property owners and renters to Candela Restaurant at 831 S. La Brea Ave.

Arguments in favor of the zone included the need to prevent density and increased traffic, to protect the historic character of the area and save affordable housing.

A concerted effort by the Miracle Mile Residential Association (MMRA), led by resident Mark Zecca, has brought the zoning request closer to reality. Next step is a review by the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission.

Zecca and the MMRA began the campaign for an HPOZ designation in 2014 as a necessary step “before the developers come after us,”he told the crowd.

Commission to consider Miracle Mile HPOZ

The HPOZ is on track for adoption before the March 2017 expiration of an Interim Control Ordinance that prohibits the demolition of historic homes for the construction of McMansions.

More than 80 percent of the 1,400 homes and multi-story buildings in Miracle Mile qualify as historic and worthy of preservation, according to Architectural Resources Group (ARG), authors of a recent historic resources survey of the area.

Residents and neighboring business owners contributed to the $60,000 price tag for the survey, which was a requirement for the zone change.
The preservation zone request covers an area bordered by Wilshire Blvd. on the north; San Vicente on the south; and La Brea to Fairfax avenues on the east and west.

Opponents to the HPOZ felt the restrictions are too harsh. One homeowner said his house is 1,400 square feet, and he wants to add a second story. But he feels the standards for expansion are too narrow.

Another speaker quoted the high cost of restoring windows under an historic framework.

Another anti-HPOZ resident was concerned about the added layer of bureaucracy the zoning would create.

But the majority of those giving testimony favored the preservation zone. Several residents stated that the Mid-City West Community Council board had given unanimous  approval for the zone request.

“The passage of the HPOZ will be the single greatest achievement of the Miracle Mile Residential Association in protecting single-family, R-2 and R-3 properties,” said MMRA president James O’Sullivan.

A link to 30-minute video on YouTube featuring a question-and-answer session on the HPOZ is at miraclemilela.com/hpoz, or go here.

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Category: Real Estate

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