Last week, the Buzz reported that – because of ongoing disputes regarding a proposed Historic Preservation Overlay Zone for the Miracle Mile neighborhood, and claims from both those in favor and those opposed that they represent the majority of residents – City Council Member David Ryu was planning to send out a query letter to all residents and homeowners in the affected area, to ask whether or not they support the measure. Originally, CD4 staff reported that the letter would go out early last week, and that it contained a requested response date of February 14, which is tomorrow.
As of this morning, however, both the Miracle Mile Residential Association, which supports the HPOZ, and the SayNoHPOZ opposition group reported that none of their members have received the letter, which will make it hard to submit responses by the requested date. The Buzz contacted CD4 representative Estevan Montemayor, who confirmed today that the letter was mailed late last week and, because it didn’t go out as soon as originally planned, the requested response date has been now been revised to February 20. The new version of the letter also announces that Ryu has scheduled a Town Hall meeting to discuss the Miracle Mile HPOZ (and, presumably, responses he receives to the query letter), on Wednesday, February 22, at 7 p.m. at John Burroughs Middle School, 600 S. McCadden Pl.
The current letter, which Miracle Mile residents and owners should receive in the next day or two, states:
The proposed Miracle Mile Historic Preservation Overlay Zone has been a process two plus years in the making. This process included numerous community meetings and mailings by both the Planning Department and private residential associations. Your involvement in this community is remarkable.
Please know that both proponents and opponents have been engaged and heard over the past few months in order to address neighborhood concerns. Based on these community meetings, substantial changes were made to make the HPOZ flexible and included a complete redrafting of the Preservation Plan. This Plan was adopted at the Cultural Heritage Commission.
Extensive neighborhood outreach elicited positive feedback from both sides concerning the HPOZ’s ability to preserve neighborhood context, character, and architecture. An HPOZ is an available tool that affords this kind of protection. In March of 2015, when the Interim Control Ordinance for the area was implemented, thoughts were given to the appropriate tool to protect neighborhood character in the long term. The ICO was established to, “prevent the further alteration, demolition and redevelopment of properties in this unique neighborhood,” while the HPOZ was being formed for long term protections.
Implementing one of Re:Code LA’s 16 newly created single family zones as an alternative solution to neighborhood protection has been discussed. This solution would only be applicable to single family zones, not multi-family, and only relates to mass and scale, not architectural styles. The ICO is set to expire in March 2017 and cannot be extended. The Re:Code zones have not been adopted by City Council and if this route is chosen there will be a gap between the expiration of the ICO and any new protections.
While the new zones offer protections for the mass and scale of single family homes, an HPOZ affords additional protections for architectural cohesiveness as well as protections to the affordable and rent stabilized multi-family units (all pre 1978 multi-family units in the City of Los Angeles are Rent Stabilized).
It is incredibly important that both sides are heard and the utmost has been done to try and provide an active dialogue. It is not easy to get 100% agreement on everything, but the goal has always been to reach a high level of consensus. In that regard the City has sent this mailer to all residents and owners in the proposed HPOZ. Please send your feedback, on whether you support or oppose the HPOZ for your community. Please email Senior Planning Deputy, Julia Duncan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 213-473-2346 by February 20. Please know that your continued input and participation in the dialogue is welcomed and encouraged.