On February 23, City Council Member David Ryu held a town hall meeting to listen to stakeholders and to take the overall temperature of the community on the increasingly acrimonious subject of whether or not to institute an Historic Preservation Zone in the Miracle Mile neighborhood.
At that meeting, where city officials also presented general information about HPOZs and what they do and don’t mean for residents living in them, about equal numbers of attendees spoke up in favor of and opposing the effort. There was also considerable discussion and disagreement about what the boundaries of the potential district should be, and whether they should remain as originally proposed, or – as the City Planning Commission decided rather abruptly in December – if the blocks closest to Wilshire and Olympic Blvds. should be removed to allow for future redevelopment in those spaces.
Ryu said at the end of the meeting that he would take the matter into consideration, along with any responses he received to a query letter sent to residents in the affected area, and report back within two weeks, well before the City Council PLUM Committee is scheduled to hear the issue on March 21. It took three weeks instead of two, but yesterday, Ryu’s office issued the following statement about the proposed HPOZ:
“Our office has received feedback from 533 households in support of the HPOZ, and 153 households opposed to it. From the feedback we’ve received thus far, there is overwhelming support for a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone for the Miracle Mile area. Councilmember Ryu is inclined to support the HPOZ, however, our office will continue to review feedback throughout the Council approval process.”
On hearing about Mr. Ryu’s statement, James O’Sullivan, president of the Miracle Mile Residential Association, which supports the HPOZ effort, said:
“We are hopeful that the Councilman will persuade the full council to restore the HPOZ to the full boundaries approved by the Cultural Heritage commission. Our count of people who signed [statements of support] for the full HPOZ area, which includes [City Council Member Herb] Wesson’s area, is 1,133…with no duplicates and more coming in. Since many, if not most, homes and apartments have more than one person living in them, we believe that his count of 533 homes would probably equal our count.”
O’Sullivan said that no matter how the numbers are counted, however, he is happy with the results and “we know that we have demonstrated that there is overwhelming support for the Miracle Mile HPOZ as approved by the Cultural Heritage Commission.”