Google satellite view of Betty Way in West Hollywood

Google satellite view of Betty Way in West Hollywood

The West Hollywood Preservation Alliance (WHPA) is concerned that SB-9, known as the California HOME Act, may very likely impact future potentially designated historic cultural resources in West Hollywood. Specifically, the city has never completed an R-1 historic survey of its residential zones that include the subsets R1A, R1B, and R1C.

The WHPA requests the city to initiate a Single-Family Residence/Duplex survey as soon as possible and postpone enacting the final zoning map modifications until survey completion and analysis and identification of potentially significant historic properties/districts.

Since SB-9 bypasses any CEQA requirement, it is particularly important that West Hollywood have a full reckoning of all R-1 structures before those found as possibly historic become compromised by additional building construction. WHPA is very concerned about the possible loss of historic integrity according to the Secretary of the Interior’s standards.

As added by SB-9, California Government Code Section 65852.21(b)(2)(A) states:

The local agency shall not impose objective zoning standards, objective subdivision standards, and objective design standards that would have the effect of physically precluding the construction of up to two units or that would physically preclude either of the two units from being at least 800 square feet in floor area.

However, subjective standards — including postponement until an R-1 historic survey is completed and potentially historic properties identified — are not specified as prohibited, and in fact allow for a development moratorium AFTER approval of the tentative map. {This allows the option to approve the tentative map while commissioning a housing survey and reviewing results for up to five years, if needed).

As amended by SB-9, Section 66452.6(b)(1) of the California Government Code has been amended to read:

The period of time specified in subdivision (a), including any extension thereof granted pursuant to subdivision (e), shall not include any period of time during which a development moratorium, imposed after approval of the tentative map, is in existence. However, the length of the moratorium shall not exceed five years.

We urge the City Council to commission an R1 Single-Family Residence/Duplex survey as soon as possible so we can identify our neglected historic properties before they are irrevocably altered and compromised.