Hanauer proposes to restore the 68-year-old buildings, described
as "funky, cottage, eclectic," dividing them into separate
businesses, including a restaurant.
Although deteriorated, the Pottery Shack is E-rated (exceptional)
on the city's list of historically valuable buildings in commercial
zones. The rating qualifies the cluster for a reduction of required
parking spaces of up to 75%, if the structure is put on the city's
Historical Register. Registration has incentives, such as parking
reductions, and it has restrictions, presumably to keep the
structure's historic integrity.
The requested 75% reduction would bank parking spaces against the
development of an office building on the site. However, that proposal
was not on the table at the May 26 Planning Commission hearing and
the commissioners declined to consider the parking needs for the
Staffers and commission recommended a 55% reduction, provided the
site is put on the Historical Register. Only the council can reduce
"This will go to council to balance the effects on the
neighborhood against the historical benefits," said commission Chair
A neighborhood contingent strongly opposed the proposal submitted
by architect Morris Skenderian.
Of late, opposition to proposed developments has bonded neighbors.
The proposed Driftwood Estates development in South Laguna led to
the creation of the Hobo and Aliso Canyons Neighborhood Assn., which
opposed the project. Now, the neighbors of the Pottery Shack have
banded together as the Village Flatlanders Assn. to oppose the
proposed plan to renovate the Pottery Shack.
Association member Darrylin Girvin said the project should have an
environmental impact report.
City staffers had completed an initial study and determined that
impacts could be mitigated to "less than significant," qualifying the
project for a mitigated negative declaration. Comment period on the
study ended at 5 p.m. the day of the meeting.
Environmental watchdog Roger von Butow was outraged by the absence
of hydrology and traffic studies.
"The neighbors are concerned about traffic and parking and I won't
deny there will be some impacts," Skenderian said.