By Kellam de Forest
On April 9 and April 11 the Historic Landmarks Commission held public workshops to discuss the creation of Historic Districts. The proposed districts are Bungalow Haven, between Olive and Micheltorerna east of Laguna. West Beach, north of Cabrillo Boulevard, Castillo Street, North of Cota to De La Guerra, and Lower De La Vina, north of Cota to De La Guerra.
Bungalow Haven is already a special design district with guidelines aimed at preserving the Craftsman bungalows and the integrity of the neighborhood. A Historic District designation would give CEQA status, possible property tax savings, and the use of the California Historic Building Code when making additions. National and state studies found properties in historic districts increase housing values by an average of 16 %.
A proposal to add a 305 square foot second story addition to 1,030 square foot Craftsman bungalow at 1318 Morrison Avenue in the heart of the Bungalow Haven District was presented at the HLC meeting May 8. It was stated by the applicants that the guidelines had been taken into account, but that was hard to believe with the plans calling for the second story to be plunked down on the rear of bungalow. The HLC reluctantly went along with the concept of a second story despite the fact that the District Guidelines discourage second story additions. They asked for design changes to make the addition less obtrusive and more in keeping the existing building.
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