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Preservationists eye farm house

Suggested changes to the historic landmark ordinance would ease research of significant buildings.

May 10, 2011|By Maria Hsin
  • This house, on the 800 block of Magnolia, in Burbank, was built in 1910, and the owners say they want it to be designated as a historic landmark, on Monday, May 9, 2011. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
This house, on the 800 block of Magnolia, in Burbank, was…

CITY HALL — A second house has been listed for possible historic landmark status in Burbank — only the second since city officials established preservation laws in 1994.

Owners of the two-story wood frame farm house built in 1910 at 834 E. Magnolia Ave. have submitted the application as City Hall works to cut some of the red tape that officials say may be keeping other properties from entering the pipeline.

“If I ever have to sell it, I don’t want to see someone take it down,” said Marlene Burton, who owns the house with her husband, Kent. “I would love to see it preserved.”

The City Council next week is scheduled to hear proposed changes to the historic preservation ordinance that would make it easier to research the historical significance of a building, even without owner consent — a change that would move Burbank closer to the rules in place at other cities.

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“It would untie our hands,” Don Baldaseroni, chairman of the Heritage Commission, said during a meeting last week on the proposed change.

The Heritage Commission and Planning Board endorsed the changes to the preservation ordinance, which would still require the consent of the owner before a property could be considered officially for landmark status — a stop that isn’t even required in Los Angeles and Pasadena.

Baldaseroni noted that only one home and a handful of commercial buildings in the city have been given landmark status since the ordinance was established in 1994.

Another change would include streamlining the language of the ordinance to make it easier to understand.

Greg Rehner, the owner of the city’s lone historic home at 902 E. Olive Avenue, said there were a lot of “myths” about landmarking a house and felt residents needed more information on the process.

Rehner received an Award of Merit from the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Planning Assn. for distinguished leadership as a citizen planner. He was nominated for the award by the Planning and Transportation Division and the Heritage Commission in recognition of his efforts to engage the community in historic preservation activities, said assistant city planner Amanda Klotzsche.

The Heritage Commission also applied for a grant that would fund roughly $5,000 in public outreach, including literature, community meetings and improvements to the historic preservation website.

 
 

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