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4038 17th Street

4038 17th Street - 1980

An effort to save this 1,000 square foot 1885 Eastlake Stick Victorian from demolition began in spring of 1999. The owner submitted plans to the Planning Department to demolish the house and erect a 3-unit condominium building. Over 50 neighbors attended the Planning Commission hearing a year later on April 6, 2000, to ask that the house be saved. A petition with nearly 1000 signatures was submitted. The Commission decided to retain jurisdiction and asked the owner to come back with a revised non-demolition plan that would save a substantial portion of the front half of the house.

At the second Planning Commission hearing on June 14, 2001, the Commission rejected the revised plans that did not save a substantial portion of the house but approved a project for up to three condominium units with the condition that the front 25 feet of the house remain intact in its historical condition. To compensate for the inability to build at the front of the property, a variance was granted to allow the property owner to build into his required rear yard area.

Thereafter, no project was undertaken. For over five years from June 2001 the building stood vacant, gradually deteriorating and becoming an eyesore, causing consternation in the neighborhood. All of the two-year effort to save the house seemed to be in vain.

Finally in November 2006, the property quietly changed hands. In Spring 2007, it was offered for sale on the open market. Although it was advertised as a property suitable for development, to our great relief the winning bid was from a young woman who wanted to rehabilitate it as a single-family home and live in it herself.

The renovation has been proceeding for the past 6 months. Painting and repair of the exterior will occur after the interior is substantially finished. The new owner expects to be able to move in in the near future. A happy ending to a long story.

From the 10-12-01 Memorandum of Zoning Administrator, Lawrence B. Badiner, re the Planning Commission Action.

The Commission determined the following:

The revised plan shall involve the retention of at least 25 feet of the existing building measured form the face of the front bay window. The second and third floors of the new building shall commence at least 25 feet from the face of the front bay window.

The revised plan must keep the retained portion of the house within the original footprint and at the existing elevation. The retrained portion of the house (shall) be restored to Secretary of the Interior standards as used by the Planning Department.

They (the project sponsors) should retain a preservation specialist to advise them during the process of retention and construction.

The revised plan will include a five-foot setback along the rear side property line to retain the accommodation for the property-line windows (of the adjacent D.R. requestor's house).

The Zoning Administrator determined the following: The rear yard variance is granted by the Zoning Administrator.