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Four Santa Monica Landmarks Slated for Conservation Contracts
By Niki Cervantes
October 20, 2017 -- From a turn-of-the-century home gazing at the Pacific from Palisades Park to one of the first Postmodern high-tech designs in Santa Monica, four local landmarks are likely to get preservation contracts with the City.
Staff is recommending the City negotiate “Historic Property Preservation Agreements” (of Mills Act contracts) with the property owners of 401 Ocean Avenue, 927 Ocean Avenue, 909-911 Montana Avenue and 2433 28th Street.
All are designated City Landmarks and are qualified for the cut in property taxes the Mills Act provides, a report to the City Council said.
“The Mills Act is one of the few financial incentives available to owners of historic properties,” said David Martin, the City’s director of planning.
Under consideration for the contracts is the two-story, Henry Weyse/Charles Morris House at 401 Ocean Avenue, built in 1910 and designated a City Landmark in 1990.
An example of the work of highly-regarded architect Robert D. Farquhar, the home “embodies distinguishing Craftsman and Colonial Revival architectural characteristics,” the report said.
But it needs repair, restoration/rehabilitation and maintenance work.
A 10-year Restoration and Rehabilitation Plan and Maintenance Plan could cost $935,000 over its life. A Mills contract could help with a tax cut equaling 86 percent, staff said.
Although in fair condition, the building’s roof and drainage system are in poor condition.“Original wood windows will be repaired while existing jalousie and aluminum sliding windows will be replaced with wood windows to match the original. The balconette on the front elevation will be structurally evaluated and repaired or replaced as needed,” Martin said.
Total cost over the 10 years will be $661,100, but staff said the new contract would bring a 55 percent cut in total taxes.
Projected cost of rehab/restoration work over the coming decade is $557,500. A Mills contract could result in a 71 percent tax break, staff said.
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