Steps To Take After The Cultural Heritage Commission Decides to Designate the
Building as a Historical Monument
What Happens If the
Cultural Heritage Commission Decides to Designate the Building as
a Historical Monument?
After the Cultural Heritage Commission voted unanimously in favor
of historic monument designation, we were informed by the CHC
that the designation would remain for 180 days, and that it could
be renewed for an additional 180 days. During this time, the
President for the CHC stated that the developer and our
preservation group would have to make a "good faith"
effort towards historic preservation. This could mean attempting
to find buyers that would historically preserve the properties,
preserving the properties himself, or finding an alternate use
for the properties. It is obviously very important to
meticulously document all contacts and attempts to find owners
and other means to preserve the building. However, before all
this can really start, the proposal still has to be approved by
the Council Committee of the Arts and Humanities and City
We were extremely fortunate
because, as previously mentioned, our city councilman, Jack
Weiss, had already given his support the previous week before the
CHC approved our applications. Our applications passed by a
unanimous vote. All three of our properties were designated
historic monuments by the CHC. The President said that he
"wanted to stop further alterations and demolition."
Council Committee of the
Arts and Humanities
If passed by the CHC, the proposal is then given to the
Council Committee of the Arts and Humanities, which Councilman
Jack Weiss currently chairs. I've been told that this council
typically approves an item if the Cultural Heritage Commission
has approved it. Both the preservationists and the developer can
be invited to attend this meeting.
We were invited to attend the
Council Committee of the Arts and Humanities meeting. So were the
developers, who made their case again. Councilman Jack Weiss,
however, disagreed with the developer's arguments,
saying,"We have reviewed the Commission's record. I
have visited the properties myself. These are special
properties. The Commission did exactly the right thing here
(in designating them for inclusion in the city's list of historic
Noting that landmark designation does not guarantee protection
from demolition after the environmental review period, Council
Member Weiss, added: "We must act to provide whatever
preservation status we can." Following appearances by
both sides, the Committee voted unanimously to ratify the
Cultural Heritage Commission's decision.
After the designation is passed by the Council Committee of the
Arts and Humanities, it is given to the City Council. In this
case, we were not invited to the City Council meeting. Neither
was the developer. We did, however, mail letters urging their
support to each member of the City Council (click
here for City Council members).
Thirteen of the members were present, voting unanimously to
designate the homes as historical monuments. For us, the next
step would be to try to work with the developers in finding
buyers for the properties.
Options After City
Council Has Approved Monument Status
Find Buyers to purchase
the properties from the developer
If the developer is cooperative, you may work together
in trying to find buyers. Put together packages to mail out to
prospective buyers, including information similar to what you
might find on houses that are for sale through realtors
(description, square footage, bedrooms, baths, pictures). You can
even put up a web site, such as we are doing here. On
November 2003, over a year after our preservation efforts began, the developer
put the three Kelton homes on the market for sale.
Universities, such as UCLA, a good bet for the Kelton Houses
since it's in the neighborhood, and USC, as well as others, would
also be good media/exposure outlets. U.C. Santa Barbara is very
involved with historic preservation/architectural matters, so
they're also another good contact.
Gain City Council Member
and Neighborhood Council Support
As mentioned above, the designation for historic status is 180
days. The city council can decide to extend that to
another 180 days, for 360 days total. After the first 180 days,
the preservation issue moves on to the city council for another
vote. Here, the support of your councilman (in our case,
Councilman Weiss) will be as equally crucial as before. He must
get his other council members to vote to give your buildings
another 180 days. It is of course important to inform as many
city council members as possible of your plight and obtain their
backing in preparation for their voting on the next 180-day
extension. The neighborhood councils work with the city
council, so it is important to keep the neighborhood council
representatives informed, and try to have as many city council
people as possible support your cause as possible.
http://lacity.org/lacity/YourGovernment/CityCouncil/index.htm A list of districts and their council members in the
city of Los Angeles
http://www.lacityneighborhoods.com/home.htm Click on this link, then click on a pdf file entitled Neighborhood
Councils Roster. This document is their most comprehensive
roster of those groups that have been certified, and those that
are still in the process of organizing -- everybody. It includes
contact information for the key leaders of each group,
boundaries, and e-mail and Web site addresses. The list is
constantly being updated so we include a notation of when changes
were made to each groups information. This roster will
always appear at the bottom of the News Flash section. (64
Landmarks / National Register of Historic Places
California Historical Landmarks
California Historical Landmarks are sites,
buildings, features, or events that are of statewide significance
and have anthropological, cultural, military, political,
architectural, economic, scientific or technical, religious,
experimental, or other value. The specific standards now in use
were first applied in the designation of Landmark number 770.
State historical landmarks are recommended by the State
Historical Resources Commission, to the Director of California
State parks for official designation. The nine-member commission
is appointed by the governor and also reviews nominations for
listing on the National Register of Historic Places,
a federal program that is maintained by the National Park
Service. If a site is primarily of local interest, it may meet
the criteria for the California Point of Historical Interest
It must be the first, last, only, or most significant of a type
in the county or local area; have the approval of the chairperson
of the Board of Supervisors or the City/Town Council; be
recommended by the State Historical Resources Commission; and be
officially registered by the Director of California State Parks.
The procedure is as follows:
1. Obtain application and criteria from OHP.
2. Complete application according to cover letter and
3. If a plaque is requested, written permission of property owner
to place the plaque on his or her property must be enclosed.
Application will be reviewed by OHP staff and placed on an agenda
of the State Historical Resources Commission (SHRC) for action.
National Register of
This is a good site for general information, archives, lists, and viewing sample
National Register nominations.
Contact offices, such as the Office of Historic Preservation (Department of
Parks and Recreation) in Sacramento, to look for historic preservation awards.
These can only be positive in bringing attention to your preservation efforts.
I went to http://ohp.parks.ca.gov/ and
found a downloadable application for the award, filled it out, and sent it in.
To my surprise, we won the award (click
here for more information)!!
The dark cloud looming overhead in all this is that after the
designation expires, the developer can move ahead with plans for
demolition and development. If this occurs, perhaps only a
lawsuit can prevent demolition. The
Conservancy can provide names of
lawyers who specialize in this sort of litigation. Further media
attention is also useful, so you might contact The L.A. Times and
The L.A. Weekly about your situation (see the Media Section).
Again. Stay in contact. Keep them informed.
If you are renting in an apartment or duplex or triplex owned
by an owner who intends on demolishing the property, the
developer must give you an eviction notice. Our eviction notices
were for 120 days. Additionally, we were compensated $2000 for
relocation expenses. If a rental unit is occupied by two or more
tenants, none of whom is a qualified tenant, then each tenant of
the unit shall be paid a pro-rata share of the $2000 fee.
People 62 years of age and older,
disabled, handicapped, and a person residing with and on whom is
legally dependent (as determined for federal income tax purposes)
one or more minor children are entitled to receive $5000.
This payment should be made within
fifteen days of service of a written notice of termination.
However, "the landlord may, at the landlord's sole
discretion and at the landlord's cost, establish an escrow
account for the tenant(s)" in lieu of this payment.
Again, as mentioned before, while
this information is reliable, you must find out the information
for yourself. None of this information on this web site should be
construed as legal advice. Here are some helpful links:
After The Cultural Heritage
Commission Decides to Designate the Building as a Historical Monument
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