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Westside Digest

Santa Monica : City Halts Housing Project

November 16, 1989

The City Council halted a mid-city condominium project after neighborhood residents raised concerns over the proposed removal of two pre-1930 bungalows from the site.

The 4-3 vote overturned the Planning Commission's approval of the project, which the city staff had recommended because it met all city requirements.

But the council was swayed by a small turnout of residents who contended that the bungalows were historic structures that should be preserved and that the new project was not compatible with the neighborhood.

The city's Landmarks Commission, however, voted 4 to 3 last week not to designate the project's area a historic district and 7 to 0 that the structures were not landmarks. Approval of either category by the commission would have also halted the three-story condominium project.

A community group called Mid-City Neighbors presented the council with almost 300 signatures opposing the condominium project, planned for 1253 11th St.

Resident Syd Jurin said the project would cause a "domino effect." Residents "feel other landlords will follow this example and build more condominiums and force out the families," he said.

Councilman Ken Genser, however, warned that the council's rejection of the project is open to legal challenge because the project meets zoning requirements. He proposed a moratorium on construction that would remove or destroy a structure that could be historic. "We should delay this project so that it will get caught up in that moratorium," he said.

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