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By Wendy Harn, Advocacy Vice President

Dave Waller and Karen Highberger are continuing to work on strengthening the Historic District Coalition. They have met with officers of several Historic Districts to identify each district’s needs. One goal is to develop an ongoing communications infrastructure between the LBH and the Historic Districts.

LBH is committed to reactivating the Mills Act and with assisting with Historic District code enforcement issues. Adaptive Reuse Ordinance Approved John Thomas successfully championed the development of the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance on behalf of LBH. The City Council approved this ordinance at their October 10, 2011 meeting. This is a significant component of the Historic Preservation Element. Great job, John!


Here is the specific agenda wording: “Recommendation to request City Manager to develop an adaptive reuse incentive program and ordinance that recognizes the economic, environmental and cultural value of preserving older and/or historic landmark buildings in consultation with the Cultural Heritage Commission, the Planning Commission and the historic preservation community.

Request that the program include, but not be limited to, the following elements drawing on adaptive reuse ordinances in Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Pasadena:

• A fair, clear and predictable approval process that stresses collaboration between the various approval entities including building, Fire, planning and Public Works.

• Regulatory changes to provide incentives for adaptive reuse, including the potential for density, corridors/neighborhoods of focus, by-right and parking waivers.

• Flexibility in building and fire codes that mandate health and safety protections while ensuring that requirements do not render projects infeasible

• Application of the historic building code as appropriate.

• Develop a handbook and online resource describing the program to potential developers. 


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