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I heard from Janet O’Dea, one of the organizers of the historic district pledge for Mission Hills. (I wrote about the O’Deas and their three-year fight to have the district named last June).

Yesterday, the City Council decided to reject two appeals filed by a couple of the O’Deas’ neighbors. The appeals claimed, among other things, that the district applicants (the O’Deas and others) had exaggerated the support they’d received from their neighbors.

Here’s a bit about the benefits of declaring the district from our previous story:

Historic designation gives homeowners a chance to apply for a contract with the city under the state Mills Act, which trades a property tax break in exchange for the homeowner maintaining and preserving the home’s historic character.

That brings benefit to the community at large, proponents of the Mills Act say, in property values and in visitor attraction. O’Dea, who applied with her husband in 2001 for historic designation on their house individually, points to the sightseeing buses that come through her neighborhood already four times daily.

O’Dea’s press release on yesterday’s decision touted the fact that the first subdivision for Mission Hills was filed Jan. 20, 1908. And yesterday — just a few days after that 100-year anniversary — the designation for the neighborhood was allowed to stand. She said now that the designation is in place, she and her neighbors can begin to celebrate the centennial properly.

“We think that we’ve sort of inspired some of our neighbors,” she said.

O’Dea said the neighborhood would soon have specific guidelines for design and upkeep for the historic homes there. She also said they’ve planned to install Mission Hills Historic District signs soon along Sunset Boulevard.

KELLY BENNETT

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