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Landmarks Commission Delays Action on Third Street Project:

 At its June 11 meeting, the Santa Monica Landmarks Commission examined two Certificates of Appropriateness pertaining to properties in the Third Street Historic District. One Certificate was approved; the other was continued.

The continued item was an application for design approval of an addition to a non-contributing accessory structure in the rear of the property at 2617  3rd Street.

The applicant wanted to build a 1,346-square- foot one- and two-story addition to the rear building, which has a “utilitarian” design. Also proposed was a perimeter block wall along portions of the property line.

Although the City staff and consultants reports claimed that the rear building project would have “minimum visibility” from the street, neighbors in the District felt otherwise. The Commission heard input from many neighbors, almost all of whom stated that the proposed project would violate the guidelines of the Historic District.

“If this house is allowed to be built in a historic district, why have a historic district?” said Lisa Mead, one of the neighbors.

The concerns most often raised by the neighbors were that the rear building was too big and would overwhelm the contributing structure (a turn-of-the-century bungalow) in the front, that the style and materials (stucco and glass) of the addition were too “modern” and therefore incompatible with the ambience of the District, and that the proposed block wall would have an “alienating” effect.

Commissioner Margaret Bach said she was “troubled by the intensity of feeling from the community” on the issue, but that she also supported the idea of a property owner being able to make changes. Other members of the Commission agreed. In regard to the project’s being visually different in style, Commissioner John Berley noted that “differentiation is vital for a historic community.”

The Commission asked architect Michael Folonis to modify his design by using different materials and colors and to adjust certain design details. Folonis agreed to submit the revised design for approval at the Commission’s next meeting.

The other Third Street Historic District property, at 2646 2nd Street, received approval for the design for a new single-family residence located on a vacant, non-contributing parcel. In this case, members of the local CPC (Citizens Participation Committee) were in support of the project.

In other actions, the Commission approved a Certificate of Appropriateness for lighting plans for the 415 Palisades Beach Road project on the former Marion Davies estate, and passed a Statement of Official Action for 2001-2011 Main Street, the Horizons-Zephyr surf shop.

Action was continued on a Structure of Merit application for a house at 136 Hart Avenue.

Also continued was discussion on a demolition permit for 929 Lincoln Boulevard, a multiple residential building identified on the Historic Resources Inventory, pending further information on the building’s history.

The Commission discussed possible designation for Palisades Park. A City staff report cited 44 contributing features within the park, but the Commission wanted more time to identify and review these features as well as provide language for designating features that might be considered contributors in the future.  Karen Ginsberg, Assistant Director of Community and Cultural Services, told the Commission that her department needs time to clarify findings in the staff report. The Commission decided to continue this item.

No action was taken on demolition permits for 738 Marine Street and 2629 33rd Street. 

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