M E M O R A N D U M by xumiaomaio



                               CITY PLANNING DIVISION

                         CITY OF SANTA MONICA

DATE:                July 10, 2006

TO:           The Honorable Landmarks Commission

FROM:         Planning Staff

SUBJECT:      Certificate of Appropriateness 06CA-008
              2511 Beverley Avenue, Santa Monica

              Design approval for proposed modifications to the single-family residence at
              2511 Beverley Avenue, a designated City Landmark.

              APPLICANT: Mario Fonda-Bonardi
              PROPERTY OWNER: John & Lisa Steinbrun


The applicant requests design approval for proposed modifications to the single-family
residence at 2511 Beverley Avenue, a designated City Landmark.

The Craftsman-style residence at 2511 Beverley Avenue was constructed in 1911 during
the early years of Santa Monica’s development, and was one of the first two properties built
on Beverley Avenue in the F.P. Howard Subdivision of the Lucas Tract. The subject
residence is a good example of Craftsman architectural style, developed for a middle-class
clientele. It embodies a number of character-defining features of the style including a
pronounced emphasis on horizontality, expressed by low-pitched gables, deep eaves,
curved braces, elongated and carved rafter tails and bargeboards, wood shingle siding,
extended lintels, horizontal window arrangements, and battered front porch piers.

The subject residence was designated as a City Landmark on March 8, 2004.


Notice of this hearing was provided as required by Section 9.40.040(b) as follows: notice
sent to all owners and occupants within a 300-foot radius of the subject property; a
newspaper notice published in the LA Times “California” Section on at least 10 days prior to
the hearing date.


The proposed project is exempt from the provisions of Section 15331 of the California
Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in that the scope of work rehabilitates a historical
resource in a manner consistent with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the
Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring,
and Reconstructing Historic Buildings (1995), Weeks and Grimmer.


The property at 2511 Beverley Avenue is located on the east side of the street between
Ocean Park Boulevard to the south and Hollister Avenue to the north. The approximately
16,000 square foot parcel contains the primary, single-family residence and two accessory
structures at the rear of the site. The site is characterized both by its sloping topography
and by the Landmark residence that located on the crest of the hill (sloping upward to the

The proposed project is comprised of the following six components:

1.   In-kind replacement and repair of brick facing and shingles associated with on-going
     foundation reconstruction and seismic upgrade;
2.   Reconstruction of front stairs on primary elevation;
3.   Addition of one sidelight adjacent to the existing front entry door;
4.   Addition of windows on the primary elevation;
5.   Replacement of a ground floor balcony on the primary elevation; and
6.   Addition of code-required railing around an existing basement stairwell.

 Façade             Brick (to match the existing fabric)
                    Cedar Shingles (to match the existing fabric)
 Windows            Vertical, wood frame sidelight
                    Wood frame, single-light windows at lower wall on of primary elevation
 Front Steps        Brick front entry steps with black metal handrail
 Basement &         Wood Arts and Crafts designed railings
 Balcony Railings   Basement railing painted white
                    Balcony railing painted white


The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards

As with all requests for alterations to designated City Landmarks, proposed work must be
undertaken in a manner consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the
Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring,
and Reconstructing Historic Properties. The proposed scope of work includes rehabilitation
as the primary treatment for the project site.

The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards define rehabilitation as, “The act or process of
making possible a compatible use for a property through repair, alterations, and additions
while preserving those portions or features which convey its historical, cultural, or
architectural values”.

While all ten of the Standards for Rehabilitation are applicable, there are several which are
particularly relevant to this project:

Standard 2. The historic character of a property will be retained and preserved. The removal of distinctive
materials or alteration of features, spaces, and spatial relationships that characterize a property will be
Standard 5. Distinctive materials, features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of
craftsmanship that characterize a property will be preserved.
Standard 6. Deteriorated historic features will be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of
deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature will match the old in design, color,
texture, and, where possible, materials. Replacement of missing features will be substantiated by documentary
and physical evidence.
Standard 9. New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction will not destroy historic materials,
features, and spatial relationships that characterize the property. The new work will be differentiated from the
old and will be compatible with the historic materials, features, size, scale and proportion, and massing to
protect the integrity of the property and its environment.

In late 2004, the applicant was issued a building permit for foundation-only repair and
seismic upgrade in order to remedy a newly-identified structural deficiency at the front of
the residence. However, more extension damage was discovered during foundation repair
work which necessitated the removal of the brick and shingle facing around the first floor of
the residence. With foundation repair and the seismic upgrade nearly complete, the
applicant proposes to replace in-kind the brick facing and wood shingles that were

The applicant proposes to replace the previously removed material with new bricks that
match the existing color and composition as closely as possible. The applicant proposes to
change the width of the mortar joints/grout lines from approximately ½” (existing) to ¾”.
While the in-kind replacement is appropriate, in accordance with the Secretary of the
Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation specifically addressing rehabilitation of masonry
features, duplication of old mortar joints in width and profile is recommended when in-kind
replacement is proposed. Conversely, changing the width or joint profile is not
recommended when repointing masonry features is part of a rehabilitation project. 1

The type of differentiation the applicant proposes is more appropriate for new additions or
for new features to historic resources. However, research indicates that the entire brick
and concrete block entry steps and the low, brick wall to the north of the entry are not
original features of the house. Therefore, it is recommended that the applicant replace in-
kind the brick veneer on the first floor of the residence in a manner that matches the
existing non-original brick material and not further differentiate this fabric (Condition #2).

The applicant also proposes to replace in-kind severely damaged wood shingles along

1 Page 69. Weeks, Kay D. and Anne E Grimmer. The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the
Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring & Reconstructing
Historic Properties. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, 1995.
primary and secondary elevations of the residence. Each of the new cedar shingles will be
stained dark brown to match existing wood shingles. This scope of work is consistent with
the Standards for Rehabilitation.

In 2004, staff observed that the front stairs leading to the main entry on the primary
elevation had been replaced by the previous owner with an inappropriate modern design
with small lights placed behind glass blocks in each riser. While conducting the foundation
repair and seismic upgrade, the applicant removed this feature in order to gain access to
the foundation and to ensure that this stair feature would be reconstructed in a manner that
complies with the Building Code.

The applicant proposes to construct a new front stair with Building Code compliant riser and
run dimensions, and handrails. This new feature would be constructed using brick material
and feature traditional concrete cap ledges and two thin handrails on the interior of the side
walls. This scope of work appear to be consistent with the Standards since the new design
is compatible with the scale, material and color of the residence. Furthermore, the
installation of thin, black metal handrails will establish the stairs as a new feature.

Research and evaluation of the residence in 2004 indicated that most of the original front
entry porch was enclosed at an unknown date, leaving visible today only the small,
recessed entry area on the south end of the porch. The front entry to the residence is
currently configured with an asymmetrical, battered shingle-clad post atop a brick pier
supporting the front porch roof. The front entry door is positioned to the right of center (see
photos contained in Attachment C and D). Due to this previous porch enclosure, the front
entry appears to be somewhat opaque and dark. The applicant proposes to install a new
vertical, single-light, wood-frame sidelight on the left side of the entry door.

This scope of work appears to be compatible with the Standards for Rehabilitation because
the front porch and entry area has already been significantly altered. This addition of a side
light, while considered a further alteration, would serve to enhance the rhythm of voids and
solids on the primary elevation and re-establish some of the light and openness lost when
the porch was previously enclosed.

The applicant proposes to install six new windows on the primary elevation. Three of these
windows would be positioned on the lower portion of the brick wall just to the north of the
main entry. The other three windows would be positioned on the far north end of the
primary elevation currently beneath the existing wood deck/balcony to be removed. Sheet
02.1 shows the existing basement plan; Sheet 02.2 shows the proposed basement plan
with the both sets of windows (three each) indicated in plan view. According to the
applicant, these sets of windows would serve as clerestory windows for a potential
basement expansion and would not be visible from the street due to the slope of the hill.

Staff has some concern about immediately adding six additional windows on the primary
elevation for a potential, future basement expansion. The primary elevation of this
Landmark residence has already been significantly altered over the years and further
changes must be reviewed carefully. While it appears that the wood framing installed for
the foundation repair already assumes installation of these new windows (in addition to the
re-installation of existing basement windows on the south end of the primary elevation), the
basement expansion is still undefined and considered a potential, future scope of work.
Staff does not support the installation of these new windows until such time that the
basement plan is developed and submitted for further review (Condition #3).

The applicant proposes to reconstruct the existing ground level balcony/deck at the
northwest corner of the primary elevation. This section of the façade steps back slightly and
does not align with the remainder of the primary, west-facing elevation; the existing deck
projects out beyond the main building façade. This existing wood deck and stairs (shown on
Sheet 02.1) would be removed and shortened. A new Arts and Crafts style deck railing
(painted white) would be installed to complement the style of the residence.

The applicant also proposes to install a new Arts and Crafts style railing around the existing
basement stairwell on the south side of the residence. The existing basement stairs have
already been rebuilt and a handrail installed to comply with current building code
requirements (current width, run and riser dimensions).

Both of these proposals appear to be compatible with the overall scale, materials and
character of the residence and would not negatively alter any character-defining features of
the residence.


Based on the foregoing, it is recommended that the Landmarks Commission approve
Certificate of Appropriateness 06CA-008 per the following draft findings and conditions:


1.     As conditioned, the proposed project 2511 Beverley Avenue will not detrimentally
       change, destroy or adversely affect any exterior, character-defining feature of the
       Landmark residence. The proposed modifications to the primary elevation include
       work removal of an inappropriate previous addition and reconstruction of new front
       entry stairs that are compatible with the scale, materials and character of the
       existing residence. The proposal also includes in-kind replacement of damaged brick
       facing and cedar shingles and new installation of compatible wood deck and
       stairwell railings. The proposed project also includes the installation of a new
       sidelight adjacent to the front entry door. This addition would serve to enhance the
       rhythm of voids and solids on the primary elevation and re-establish some of the
       light and openness lost when the original porch was previously enclosed. Therefore,
       the proposed project is consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for


1.     This approval is for proposed project at 2511 Beverley Avenue as shown on plans
        dated June 12, 2006, which are on file in the City Planning Division, except as
        amended herein.

2.      The applicant shall replace in-kind the brick veneer on the first floor of the residence
        in a manner that matches the existing non-original brick material and not further
        differentiate this fabric by altering the width of the brick grout lines.

3.      Prior to issuance of a Building Permit, the applicant shall submit revised plans with a
        scope of work omitting the installation of the six windows on the lower sections of
        the west-facing primary elevation.

4.      This Certificate of Appropriateness shall be in full force and effect from and after the
        date of the rendering of the decision by the Commission. Pursuant to Landmarks
        Ordinance Section 9.36.170(h), this approval shall expire within one year if the
        authorized work is not commenced. Should the applicant be unable to comply with
        this restriction, an extension may be granted pursuant to Section 9.36.250 for an
        additional 180 days maximum. The applicant must request such an extension prior
        to expiration of this permit. After that time, the applicant will be required to return to
        the Commission for approval. In addition, this Certificate of Appropriateness shall
        expire if the authorized work is suspended for a 180-day period after being

5.      This decision may be appealed by properly filing with the Director of Planning and
        Community Development a Notice of Appeal on a form furnished by the Planning
        and Community Department. Such notice shall be filed within a ten (10) day time
        period commencing from the date of the determination.

6.      All required Planning and Building Permit approvals shall be obtained.


A.     Certificate of Appropriateness Application and Cover Letter from Applicant
B.     Public Notice
C.     Site Photos
D.     Photos of house from 2004
E.     Project Plans

F:\CityPlanning\Share\Landmarks\REPORTS\2006 Reports\06CA-008 (2511 Beverley Avenue)_Staff Report_July


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