In anticipation of a critical City Council Plum Committee hearing on the proposed Miracle Mile HPOZ, which could be scheduled at any time, both pro- and anti-HPOZ forces are marshaling their forces and vying for community support.
Back in December, the City Planning Commission (CPC) voted to support a proposed Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) for the Miracle Mile neighborhood, and – after a procedural challenge to the vote by the SayNoHPOZ opposition group was rejected by the City Attorney – the matter was moved to its next stop for consideration, the City Council Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee.
The PLUM Committee hearing has not been scheduled yet…but both the Miracle Mile Residential Association (which supports the HPOZ proposal) and SayNoHPOZ (which opposes it), are working hard to make their voices heard at a number of opportunities in the next week.
First, on Saturday, February 4, SayNoHPOZ is holding a community meeting to present and discuss its current opposition to the plan and the current approval procedures (the group says it has lodged a formal complaint with the California Attorney General after its last challenge was rejected by the City Attorney’s office).
Then, on Monday, February 6, renters from several blocks that the CPC decided at the last minute to eliminate from the proposed HPOZ area (after protests from property owners on those blocks) have invited City Council Member David Ryu to a meeting to protest the omission and request that their homes also be protected. (The excluded blocks include those between Wilshire Blvd. and 8th St., along the norther edge of the proposed district, as well as several multi-family properties on the west side of the 800 block of S. Orange Grove Ave. The exclusion happened at the last CPC meeting, after an initial vote on the HPOZ proposal resulted in a tie. CPC President David Ambrose then suggested removing the blocks just south of Wilshire from the protected area, which would leave them more open for future development and densification…and a second vote, using the revised map, came out 5-4 in favor of the HPOZ.)
Next, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 7, at the Westside JCC, the topic will almost assuredly come up at the monthly meeting of the Miracle Mile Residential Association, which SayNoHPOZ has been encouraging its members to attend.
And, finally, it may be discussed again next Thursday, February 9, at the Miracle Mile Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of the Mile luncheon, 11:30 a.m. at the El Rey Theater, as SayNoHPOZ has been urging attendance at that gathering as well.
In other developments, SayNoHPOZ – which has contended that the “majority” of Miracle Residents do not support the HPOZ proposal – says it has secured a promise from City Council Member Herb Wesson to poll residents in the portion of the proposed district that lies within CD 10 (the SE corner of the HPOZ area, from Cochran to La Brea and Olympic to San Vicente).
SayNoHPOZ has also requested that City Council Member David Ryu do the same in the much larger portion of the area that falls within his CD4 area, but Ryu’s office has not yet responded to the request. (Ryu’s predecessor, Tom LaBonge, was a strong supporter of the plan…but Ryu – who ran for office in 2015 on a pledge to support local neighborhoods – has taken a more cautious approach recently, brokering a meeting between the pro- and anti-HPOZ camps after a contentious confrontation at Miracle Mile’s annual meeting in November.)
In addition to whether or not certain areas originally proposed for the HPOZ should be included or excluded, another point of contention between the pro-and anti-HPOZ camps has been details of the Preservation Plan that would govern the HPOZ. A revised plan was presented in December, addressing many of the issues originally raised by the anti-HPOZ protesters (including paint and landscaping), but SayNoHPOZ leaders said the revisions did not go far enough to win their approval.
Meanwhile, in addition to protesting Ambroz’s last-minute revisions to the HPOZ map, HPOZ supporters and MMRA leaders have also objected to the anti-HPOZ group’s rather late entry into the HPOZ discussions, noting that the measure has been under open discussion in the community for at least three years, with numerous community meetings, tens of thousands of dollars spent on community outreach, and all materials related to the effort easily available on the association’s website.
[Update at 12:05 p.m.: Estevan Montemayor, a spokesperson for City Council Member David Ryu, reports that Mr. Ryu is not available for the Monday, February 6 meeting with the Miracle Mile renters, and his office will re-schedule.]