Transformation or Gentrification?
We just moved into a home in Venice that we have been working on for a long time. We have learned more than necessary about how to build in LA. Every city, every state has a different set of bars to get a permit or a C of O and from a business perspective, it is just fascinating how LA gets anything done.
On one hand, I so appreciate the desire to keep history. As you walk through Venice the historical buildings create a vibe and feel of this city from the canals to the lanes to the boardwalk. Over the years there has been massive construction. Their limitations are relegated to the size of your lot. Getting a permit where you want to build from the ground up, essentially knocking down the house that is there, has parameters, as it should.
The offices who give permits really do not talk to each other. Also, the people issuing the permits do not necessarily care about the parameters. You can get around them by only taking down 50% of your house instead of starting from scratch. There is also the community desire to keep historical homes but they have zero power but they do love noise.
In the end, through such red tape and nonsense, we rebuilt the house that was here but brought into this century. The house will be here for decades to come and is carbon efficient with the right materials vs shoring up something that could collapse with a big gust of wind. The agencies that overseeing building talks out of two sides of its mouth. It would cost money to set up a division to actually drill down on what should be landmarked and what is irrelevant. Just like it would cost a tremendous amount to figure out the desperately needed social systems for the overwhelming homeless problem in CA. That is a completely different issue that is depressing, frustrating and quite frankly maddening that the state has appeared to do nothing. There should be Federal funding for this as it is not only CA that has a burgeoning homeless problem.
Yet what do you save? Look at this building as we walked around this past weekend. How do you save this? It is important to keep the architectural nods to the past but it is also important to create the right thing for the new. Not sure how to elect visual committee but somehow after going through this insane process, I have yet to be able to see through the weeds to figure how the hell this is ever fixed.