Wednesday, April 20, 2016

La Perle- 5333-5341 Hermitage Avenue

La Perle is a 9-unit 2-story apartment building located behind two bungalows with a central garden courtyard used by all residents.  The bungalows housed large families of 5 to 7 people, while the smaller La Perle apartments were rented by small families and individuals. The bungalows had front yards where the children could play and the central courtyard was communally used and lined with all manner of plants including roses and banana trees. In itself La Perle was an active community with long term tenants.

 Architecturally, Los Angeles has has only two categories: monument or tear-down, making it impossible to save these humble village residences on architectural grounds. Los Angeles currently offers NO protection for the buildings that home tenancies protected by the rent stabilization ordinance. This means that while LA deems any residential structure built before 1978 as rent stabilized, it does not protect these buildings from being demolished. The only way to preserve a building is if it can be deemed an architectural "monument." One way to do that is if a culturally significant person lived in the home. Across the street from La Perle was what was called the Marilyn Home, a small bungalow once lived in for a short period of time by perhaps the greatest icon of the city Los Angeles, Marilyn Monroe. An application for cultural heritage monument status was applied for but the developer illegally demolished the building 3 days before the hearing. Now the community is suing.

 At La Perle, the developer applied and was granted a density bonus, meaning that in exchange for being allowed to increase the maximum height from 36' to 45' the developer promises to reserve 4 of the 42 units as "very low income restricted affordable units."  The property therefore will actually drop from 11 affordable units to 4. According to the Housing Element, which is part of the General Plan, the city has already surpassed building enough Luxury units of housing but is far behind in the creation of any new low or moderate income housing yet the city continues to approve the demolition of affordable homes so that luxury housing can be built.
Developer: Yaron Levy, Fourth Street Venture L.P.
Developer's legal representative: Ellia Thompson, Sklar Kirsh
Council District: 2, Krekorkian
Community Group: Save Valley Village

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