About the Miracle Mile Residential Association:

Miracle Mile Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ).

Senate Bill 50:
An Existential and Ironic Threat
to the Miracle Mile HPOZ

A message from James O’Sullivan, President
of the Miracle Mile Residential Association

The powers-that-be in Sacramento are once again debating the highly controversial Senate Bill 50, a legislative effort to impede local control of planning, do away with single-family zoning, and super-size development throughout the state.

Buried deep into the boilerplate of the bill is a clause that would subject all historic districts created in California after 2010 to these hyper-active densification guidelines. These guidelines include allowing the demolition of multi-family buildings to make way for taller projects and the conversion of single-family homes into fourplexes. There would be no controls on density, parking requirements, or height limits.

Since our HPOZ was adopted in March 2017, this puts the Miracle Mile in the crosshairs.

The express intent of the bill is to increase housing within a half-mile radius of major public transportation corridors, which would include all of the Miracle Mile HPOZ  – given that we are bounded by Wilshire Boulevard, Fairfax Avenue, La Brea Avenue, and San Vicente Boulevard.

If SB 50 is approved by the senate and assembly, the date it is signed by the governor will be the date our HPOZ dies. Our hard fought grassroots campaign to protect our historic neighborhood would be instantly rendered null and void. All of the design protections afforded by our Preservation Plan wouldn’t be worth the paper they are written on.

The bitter irony is that our HPOZ represents an array of housing – a mix of homes and rental units – that (in theory) SB 50 espouses. The Miracle Mile HPOZ is comprised of over 1,300 properties, of which over two-thirds are multi-family buildings of various sizes: duplexes, triplexes, and apartment buildings. These multi-family buildings are well integrated with our single-family homes. In fact, the Miracle Mile is one of the most densely populated areas in Los Angeles.

In other words: SB 50 would destroy our densely populated historic neighborhood to create a densely populated non-historic neighborhood.

Another irony is that Wilshire Boulevard houses thousands of market rate units, with thousands more on the drawing board. The MMRA and the community has always supported high density development along the Wilshire corridor. That’s where these projects belong, not plunked down in the middle of a historic district.

SB 50 is a bad bill for so many reasons – for every community in California. It is a faulty cure for all the ailments it purports to cure. But what’s most important right now is that the Miracle Mile HPOZ be protected from the whims of Sacramento politicians. Below is list of some of these politicians. Call or email them today and tell them to stop SB 50 and to take our HPOZ off the chopping block.

January 31, 2020 is the deadline for the bill to pass in the Senate. The bill is currently under review by the Senate Appropriations Committee, if they don’t approve the measure it is a dead duck. Contact the members of the committee below. If you don’t know what to say, just include a link to this message and tell them that all locally created historic districts in California should be exempted from this measure, not just the ones created before 2010.

Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee:

Anthony Portantino, (916) 651-4025,  senator.portantino@senate.ca.gov
Patricia Bates, (916) 651-4036,  senator.bates@senate.ca.gov
Steven Bradford, (916) 651-4035,  senator.bradford@senate.ca.gov
Elena Durazo, (916)-651-4024, senator.durazo@senate.ca.gov
Jerry Hill, (916) 651-4013,  senator.hill@senate.ca.gov
Brian Jones, (916) 651-4038,  senator.jones@senate.ca.gov
Bob Wieckowski, (916) 651-4010,  senator.wieckowski@senate.ca.gov

Also share your opposition with SB 50’s author:

Scott Wiener, (916) 651-4011, email him via this link

For additional information:

Los Angeles Times, Jan. 2, 2020: California lawmaker again taking aim at single-family zoning

CalMatters, Oct. 30, 2019: Podcast: A debate between polar opposites over the California housing crisis

Images courtesy of the Natural History Museum. Click on images to enlarge.

Tar Pits Makeover Update

Three Architectural Firms
Exhibit Preliminary Concepts

by Greg Goldin

We want to create a place for dialogue, so people can feel like it’s accessible to them, not just as a space for leisure but as an educational space.  — Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga, President and Director of the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles

Last week, the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County unveiled three conceptual master plans to reshape the La Brea Tar pits and give the aging George C. Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries a makeover. The Page, designed by Los Angeles architects Frank Thornton and Willis Fagan, opened in 1977, will be expanded and given a whole new look; the 12 acres of Hancock Park will be re-landscaped to mold it into as much an outdoor Ice Age museum as the Page will become an immersive indoor reprise of the unique Paleozoic site. The Page is slated to grow by fifty percent in size while somehow adding to, not subtracting from the greenspace – a tricky bit of stagecraft since already the green constitutes just forty-four percent of the site.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE 


NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH NEWSLETTER JULY 2019


Creating a Dedicated Private
Security Patrol for Our
Neighborhood

Miracle Mile Neighborhood Watch Update

The Miracle Mile Residential Association is supporting an effort to create a dedicated private security patrol in our neighborhood using ADT Patrol Services. The area of coverage for the patrol car would extend throughout the Miracle Mile – from Wilshire to San Vicente and Fairfax to La Brea.

At present, there are several private security companies servicing Miracle Mile, including ADT. However, a response by a patrol car is limited to only those who specifically subscribe to a patrol service. It does not provide the immediate response to the client or provide the constant patrolling of our streets that we would collectively benefit from if we had a dedicated patrol car in the neighborhood.

In fact, without dedicated patrol, the security company cars only drive down the street of subscribed clients and a few adjacent streets on a random schedule – and usually only once a day. Then the security car exits Miracle Mile to patrol the other neighborhoods.

If an additional 45 Miracle Mile residents subscribed for the ADT Private Patrol service, we would qualify for a dedicated car to patrol to our neighborhood. This would greatly enhance the security of the entire community.

A dedicated security patrol is a critical part of our Miracle Mile Neighborhood Watch program and is supported by LAPD. The purpose of the ADT private patrol is not to replace LAPD, but to augment our public safety response.

Our Miracle Mile ADT representative is Mario Escobar: 818-402-3536; email: mescobar@ADT.com

What does a Dedicated Patrol with ADT offer the Miracle Mile?

It will provide us with a dedicated ADT patrol car patrolling the Miracle Mile neighborhood for either 8 hours, 16 hours, or 24 hours per day – depending on how many customers subscribe to ADT Private Patrol.

To qualify for a dedicated ADT patrol for a daily 8-hour shift we will need approximately 65 more Miracle Mile renters or homeowners to sign up for ADT Private Patrol.

Renters or property owners who subscribe to ADT Private Patrol for $62 per month will receive:

-Faster response to alarm and service calls due to ADT’s presence in the neighborhood.

-Around-the-clock armed-response to a crime in progress and/or suspicious activity noted in the neighborhood for ADT clients.

-Alarm Response: They respond to your burglar alarm, in most cases faster than LAPD can – and, in addition, avoid a $357 first time false alarm call by the police.

-Vacation Watch: ADT patrol will pick up mail and packages while you are away on vacation.

-Escort Service: ADT patrol will escort you to your home if you feel threatened or followed.

-Doorbell Camera Response: ADT patrol will respond to any suspicious activity you report, even if you are not home.

-Via the ADT GO app you are protected at home and when you are on the go.

-ADT patrols the entire area within Miracle Mile boundary continuously and remains within our neighborhood boundaries during the entire time of the shift.

-A dedicated patrol demonstrates vigilance, deters criminal activity, and improves the identification and detection of suspicious activities.

Do you need an alarm system?

ADT ProfessionalSecurity Alarm monitoring is also available. Enroll now with ADT and receive two free months of Patrol Services. Our Miracle Mile ADT representative is Mario Escobar: 818-402-3536; email: mescobar@ADT.com

Already have an alarm system with another company?

ADT Security can monitor most existing alarms, install new or upgrade outdated systems, as well as install a variety of security cameras. ADT Patrol will also respond to third party alarms. However, you can expect faster response times and improved alarm service when you switch to ADT local alarm monitoring.

Help us Create a Dedicated Security Patrol for the Miracle Mile

ADT has proven to be a professional company, deterring and responding to suspicious activity, crime and safety needs in Miracle Mile. ADT works in conjunction with our Neighborhood Watch Program. ADT has fast response times to clients calls/alarms, collaborates with LAPD in reporting suspicious activity and crime – as well as assisted clients during our power outages a few months ago.

Miracle Mile will benefit from a network of security protection for our wonderful neighborhood using all three areas of public safety – an active Neighborhood Watch Program, LAPD, and ADT Private Dedicated Patrol for Miracle Mile.

Thank you for considering using ADT as your patrol service and helping us reach a dedicated car for Miracle Mile.

Kari Garcia, Miracle Mile Neighborhood Watch Coordinator – MiracleMileNHW@gmail.com

The Miracle Mile Residential Association does not receive or accept compensation from any company providing services to the community. The MMRA’s supports this effort only for the reasons stated above: To take full advantage of ADT’s offer to provide a dedicated patrol service if enough residents subscribe to their service.


Now playing on the MMRA YouTube Channel:

Why are power outages on the rise in

the Miracle Mile?

Q & A with the Los Angeles

Department of Water and Power

Click here to read more and for a link to the video.


MMRA OPPOSES LACMA PLAN TO BUILD A
PARKING GARAGE ON SOUTH OGDEN DRIVE

Fix The City Files Lawsuit Challenging the
LACMA EIR on the Ogden Garage

Mid City West Community Council Adopts Motion
Opposing the Ogden Garage

Rendering of proposed Ogden garage. Click on image to enlarge.

While all eyes were on Peter Zumthor’s controversial design for a new museum spanning Wilshire Boulevard, little attention has been given to LACMA’s plan to construct a five-story parking facility on the residential block of South Ogden Drive to replace their existing surface parking lot on the southeast corner of Wilshire and Spaulding… [Click to read more]


Wilshire Boulevard postcard, circa 1964.

The ABCs of the Miracle Mile HPOZ

The Miracle Mile Historic Preservation Overlay Zone [HPOZ] went into effect on May 1, 2017. Although the city’s Office of Historic Resources mailed official notices to every property owner within the HPOZ advising them of this zoning change there are some who are unaware of these new guidelines regarding alterations and additions to the exterior of your property. Here are some helpful points to help you navigate living in an HPOZ:

Every property within the boundaries of our HPOZ [see map] – multifamily and single family homes – is guided by a Preservation Plan that will serve to protect and preserve the historic integrity and scale of our neighborhood.

Click on map to enlarge.

Property owners should visit the Miracle Mile HPOZ page at the Office of Historic Resources website to familiarize themselves with our HPOZ, the Preservation Plan, and the approvals required for exterior changes to your property.

When contemplating or planning changes to the exterior of your property first contact Christina Park, the city planner in charge of administrating our HPOZ. Christina is the point person referred to as “Staff” in the Preservation Plan. She can help you understand what approvals (if any) are required. She is also a great resource for information on how to maintain and restore historic properties.

The best way to contact Christina is by email at:  christina.park@lacity.org. She can also be contacted via telephone at 213-473-9987.

The HPOZ guidelines do not apply to any building permits issued before May 1, 2017. This work is grandfathered in and no further approvals are required.

HPOZ does not regulate interior renovations or remodeling as long as these changes have no impact on the exterior appearance of your property (i.e., altering window openings or door placement).

The Miracle Mile Historic Resources Survey Report provides a rich and detailed history of our community. A professional evaluation was made of every property within the HPOZ that determined whether it is a contributor, altered contributor, or non-contributorto our historic district. These categories determine how changes to your property may be made. There are different guidelines for contributors and non-contributors, as well as for new infill properties. The Miracle Mile HPOZ webpage has links that allow you to look up the history of your property by address and see how it was designated.

Remember that the Preservation Plan provides guidelines that are meant to be flexible and still conform with the principles of historic preservation. Paint colors are exempt from HPOZ regulation as is landscaping (as long as 60% of your front yard and parkway consist of some sort of plantings and/or grass). Drought tolerant landscapes are permitted.

Second story additions and Accessory Dwelling Units are allowed to single family homes as long as they are sensitive to the guidelines set out in the Preservation Plan.

Also, many property owners are not aware that – HPOZ or no HPOZ – city ordinances already regulate fence heights, what percentage of your front yard may be paved, what kind of trees can be planted in your parkway, and many other aspects of your property. The city also requires permits for routine work that some property owners consider DIY projects (installing new hot water heaters, replacing plumbing fixtures, window and door change outs, etc.). Unpermitted work can negatively impact your property value, compromise your insurance coverage, and cost you additional expenses to remedy. So, when it doubt, whether it be city building permits or HPOZ guidelines: check first.

For more information on HPOZ permits and approvals visit the Frequently Asked Questions page at the Office of Historic Resources’ website. You can also visit the Information for Property Owners page.

Please share this information with your neighbors. If you are a renter make sure that your landlord or property manager is aware of the HPOZ guidelines, too. There is a learning curve to living in an HPOZ and it is important that everyone knows the ABCs of HPOZ…

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Combination of the Sontag Drug Store image, circa 1941 and a contemporary view of Wilshire Beatuy Supply.

Combination of a Sontag Drug Store image (circa 1941) and a contemporary view of Wilshire Beauty Supply. © Justin Fields

Miracle Mile Then & Now Photographs

Time travel at our Miracle Mile Historical Photo Collection

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The Miracle Mile Residential Association [MMRA] is a non-profit community organization composed of your neighbors, both homeowners and renters. We are dedicated to maintaining the quality of life in the Miracle Mile area of Los Angeles through careful monitoring of development, safety, traffic and other important neighborhood concerns.

The MMRA stays current on these matters and then disseminates this information to the neighborhood residents. The MMRA is a volunteer organization. It is composed of its members, board members and officers.

MMRA Boundaries:

Northern: Wilshire Blvd; Eastern: La Brea Ave; Southern: San Vicente Blvd; Western: Fairfax Ave.

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Topics of interest:

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Officers:

James O’Sullivan, President/Masselin james.osullivan@miraclemilela.com

Joe Steins, Treasurer and Recording Secretary/Sierra Bonita joseph.steins@miraclemilela.com

Ken Hixon, Senior Vice Presidents/Genesee kenhixon@miraclemilela.com

Mark Zecca, Vice President – HPOZ, Planning and Land Use/Dunsmuir
mark.zecca@MiracleMileLA.com

Kari Garcia, Vice President – Neighborhood Watch/Dunsmuir kari.garcia@MiracleMileLA.com

Kimberly Klein, Vice President – Director of Communications/Cochran