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Los Angeles' preservation ordinance could get major overhaul

June 10, 2009 |  6:53 am

A proposed overhaul of the city's historic preservation ordinance would grant the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission the authority to bar demolition of designated monuments, a power it now lacks.

The ability to deny demolition permits to property owners is among several proposed revisions the Planning Commission is to consider Thursday. If approved, the changes would mark the first major revamping of the city's preservation ordinance since it was enacted in 1962.

"Most people have the impression that if a building is designated as a monument then it's protected," said Ken Bernstein, director of the city Planning Department's Office of Historic Resources. "In fact, in Los Angeles almost the opposite is true."

The changes are designed to align Los Angeles' preservation rules with those of other cities, such as Pasadena, San Diego and San Francisco. Bernstein said he expected property owners to speak out against the changes on Thursday, but he contended that the revisions were long overdue.

Read the full story here.

-- Martha Groves