Bulldozers and other pieces of heavy-duty construction equipment are putting on quite a show this week as they tear down several older buildings – including an 1899 home – on Temple Street to make way for a new, 49-unit Echo Park apartment complex with swimming pool. But not everyone is thrilled with the demolition derby taking place across the area as the pace of real estate development picks up.
On Wednesday, Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who represents Echo Park, introduced a City Council motion that would “enhance” the city’s demolition process to require greater public notice and feedback. Says the motion:
Demolition permits are issued without a public process. When a property owner decides to demolish an existing structure, it can significantly change the character of the surrounding community. There is no recourse for community stakeholders who are concerned about the character of their community because they do not have the opportunity to be involved in a public process prior to demolition.
The motion, if approved by a majority of the City Council, would have the city’s Building and Safety Department develop a public notification process – including the posting of signs 30 days before tear downs are scheduled to begin. In addition, fees would be charged to cover enforcement of any new regulations overseeing the demolition process.