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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Local Review

Panel Backs Condo Plan, Destruction of Bungalows

May 22, 1999

WEST HOLLYWOOD — A plan to demolish part of a neighborhood of historic bungalows to make room for a 63-unit condominium project has been approved by West Hollywood officials.

City planners voted 5 to 0 Thursday night to allow construction of the $20-million Villas de San Vicente complex. Five turn-of-the-century homes in the 800 block of San Vicente Avenue--among the first built in West Hollywood--will be torn down.

Opponents of the project said they will appeal the demolition plan to the City Council.

The commission action came after developers contended that it was not economically viable to save the clapboard houses by moving them to the edge of the condominium site.

City planning staff members had recommended that the townhouse project be redesigned so several of the cottages could be clustered together on the north side of the townhouse land.

Preservationists have warned that destruction of the homes would eliminate a quarter of the surviving homes, built starting in 1899 for employees of the Los Angeles Electric Railway trolley line. Experts say such a loss would probably make the remaining cottages ineligible for listing on the California Register of Historical Places.

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