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Board OKs Formation of Melrose Hill Historic Zone

August 13, 1987|PHILIPP GOLLNER | Times Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Planning Commission has unanimously approved a proposal that would preserve the architectural character of Melrose Hill, a Hollywood neighborhood famous for its bungalow-style homes built between 1911 and 1926.

The plan, which must be approved by the City Council, calls for formation of an architectural review board to ensure that all proposed construction and major home improvements match existing architectural styles in the neighborhood, bounded by Melrose, Oxford and Grove avenues and Hobart Boulevard.

"It's a good thing for the neighborhood," said Edward V. Hunt, planning chairman of the Melrose Hill Neighborhood Assn. "I had been optimistic all along. The majority of the neighborhood has been in favor of it all along."

The district would become the third Historic Preservation Overlay Zone in Los Angeles. The others are South Carthay and Angelino Heights.

Architectural styles in Melrose Hill include Cape Cod, Greek revival, Victorian, craftsman, Tudor, mission, Dutch Colonial and Spanish hacienda.

The Planning Commission's 4-0 vote angered opponents of the proposal, who argued that the review board would infringe on homeowners' rights. Natalia Yermilov, leader of the opposition campaign, called the vote a mistake but said she would give up efforts to stop the proposal.

Yermilov, who has lived in the neighborhood for 27 years, said she has gathered the signatures of 19 residents who also oppose the plan.

"I don't want these extra rules applied to our (neighborhood)," she said. "One hundred years from now, it will still be the same old houses."

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