Inyo County has not yet stated whether the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power violated county rules by demolishing a building in Independence without a demolition permit. However, the California Office of Historic Preservation has something to say about it.
Supervisor of the Local Government Unit of the Office of Historic Preservation, Lucinda Woodward, wrote to LADWP managers in Bishop to say that the demolished hair shop and the building next to it have been identified as historic along with three other properties in Independence.
Woodward writes that Inyo County’s California Environmental Quality Act procedures requires a discretionary review of demolition permits when the structure in question is more than 50 years old and may be of historical significance. The old barbershop is reportedly more than 100 years old. Woodward says that the Office of Historic Preservation spoke to DWP staff about these CEQA requirements in 2010.
Woodward says her Office is aware LADWP demolished the hair shop without a demolition permit. She asks DWP to send copies of any environmental documentation prepared for the project. The State Office is also concerned about remodeling of the Lions Clubhouse next door to the demolished hair shop and wants to offer ways to remodel an historic property.
We have emailed LADWP and await a response.