September 25, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Council Delays House Of Rock’s Tax Benefit Request; Estate Hits Market For $22M:

On the heels of reports that it was listed for sale for $22 million, the estate otherwise known as the “House of Rock” was the subject of yet another debate at the Tuesday Santa Monica City Council meeting. The estate’s owners sought the council’s approval for a reduced tax assessment per the Mills Act.

In a 6-1 vote, council members voted to postpone deciding upon the matter until Dec. 11.

Accordingly, the current owners of the Kathryn Grayson estate at 2009 La Mesa Drive will have to wait at least one more week to find out whether their request is approved or denied.

Under the Mills Act, a property owner may file a request for a property tax reduction if that property is deemed historic.

“The Mills Act is one of the few financial incentives available to owners of historic properties, and is an important tool for implementing the City’s Historic Preservation Element goals: to promote the designation and long-term preservation of historic resources through the provision of incentives and technical assistance,” City staff stated.

Cities offer a Mills Act tax incentive “in order to ensure the resource’s historic integrity and structural stability.” Basically, a city would agree to receive less tax revenue in exchange for a public benefit: the preservation of a historic property.

If approved, the tax exemption’s initial term is for 10 years.

The property owners originally filed for the Mills Act tax exemption on July 17, 2012, according to City staff. With the reported listing of the property for sale, council members took up the application as part of its consent calendar Tuesday evening.

City staff added the Kathryn Grayson estate, or “House of Rock,” was designated as a City Landmark in November 2010 “primarily based on its architectural significance, but also as the former residence of entertainer Kathryn Grayson.”

At stake with the request: City Hall would lose almost $12,500 annually for 10 years, staff estimated.

According to the City staff report, the tax exemption for the estate would lower its property tax rate from $90,204 annually to $12,127 per year. Santa Monica would only receive $1,940 of the $12,127, City staff stated.

Without the exemption, City Hall would receive $14,433, or $12,492 more than the exempted tax rate.

“Staff estimates that the new contract would result in an estimated property tax reduction of 86.6 percent. Most recently, the owner paid $90,204 in property taxes,” City staff wrote in a report to the council.

An interesting question is whether the Kathryn Grayson estate is even in need of historic landmark protection, as City staff stated, “the building is in excellent repair.”

However, City staff added, “As with all historic properties, it will require on-going maintenance to ensure preservation of the landmark.”

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the “House of Rock” has been listed for $22 million. The estate’s recent past has made it the center of controversy. At council meetings in late October and early November, homeowner Elaine Culotti has had to defend her allowing of multiple music events at the estate to the chagrin of neighbors in the immediate area.

Culotti assured the council the last “House of Rock” event would be held Dec. 6.

The music events were hosted at the estate in the name of raising money for charity. However, residents in the surrounding area claimed the events to be a significant nuisance, raising noise, safety, and traffic concerns. Just the same, council members believe House of Rock LLC, which managed the events, operated as a business in an area zoned for residential use.

The Wall Street Journal reported Culotti purchased the Kathryn Grayson estate in 2010 for $7.7 million. Grayson, an actress and opera singer, had lived in the estate between 1945 and 2010. The estate was built in 1926.

Shriver was the sole vote against.

in News
Related Posts

Miramar Project to go Before City Council Tuesday

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

Councilmember Gleam Davis asks City Attorney whether she should rescue self from vote  By Sam Catanzaro  Santa Monica lawmakers will...

SMa.r.t. Column: Needed, A Heart Transplant

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

We have written about adaptive reuse in previous columns and have postulated that with proper incentives, the existing one, two...

Edify TV: Boulders Blocking Westside Encampment

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

City officials recently removed boulders placed on sidewalks by some Westside residents to prevent the formation of a homeless encampment....

Should Council Member Davis Recuse Herself From Voting? Santa Monica Beat – September, 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Should Council Member Davis Recuse Herself From Voting? * Increases In...

SMC to Be Online for Winter and Spring 2021

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

College cites lack of available vaccine  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica College (SMC) has announced it will be delivering classes...

Edify TV: Al Fresco Program Ending?

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

During a COVID-19 pandemic many restaurants have found aid through the City of Los Angeles’ Al Fresco dining program, but...

Local Breweries Say They Have Been Unfairly Shuttered as County Passes Grant Program

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

$10 million grant program approved by Board of Supervisors  By Sam Catanzaro Will a $10 million grant program be enough...

Santa Monica Loses Vegan Restaurant

September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020

Space housing Santa Monica vegan restaurant Viva Vegan up for lease By Sam Catanzaro A vegan restaurant in Santa Monica...

Risks Posed by Wildfire Smoke

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

UCLA pulmonologist on how people can tell if the wildfires are making them sick By Toi Creel Even if you...

Will Los Angeles County See Another Spike in COVID-19 Cases?

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

County health officials keeping close eye on data this week By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health officials are monitoring...

Edify TV: Santa Monica Fire Department Fighting Blazes Across State

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

The Santa Monica Fire Department has been busy helping combat wildfires burning throughout the state. Learn more in this video...

Lawmakers and Residents Take Steps Towards Police Reform

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Santa Monica residents will soon have more control of policing after local lawmakers took significant steps to reform the Santa...

2020 Census Due September 30th: Santa Monica Beat – September, 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * 2020 Census Due September 30th * Bobcat Fire Reaches Historical Size...

UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica Offers Free “Living With Diabetes” Zoom Patient Conference

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

By Staff Writer Although the novel coronavirus has dominated the health space this year, other diseases — like diabetes —...

SMa.r.t. Column: Spending and Pension Policies Are Undermining Our City’s Future

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Our guest columnist this week is Marc L. Verville. He is a native of Santa Monica, now lives in Sunset...