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Susan Brandt-Hawley, attorney for the Whittier Conservancy, said the city did not complete an environmental impact report on the proposed demolition. The council also violated its own municipal code, the conservancy claims in its lawsuit filed Wednesday. “The city’s failure to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act … is blatant,” Brandt-Hawley said. In similar cases around California, when a city looks at incorporating historic resources into a project, an alternative for reuse of the buildings often is found, she said. “That is what should happen here,” she said. City officials said they had not been officially served with the lawsuit, had not yet reviewed it, and therefore could not comment on its merits Friday. WHITTIER – The Whittier Conservancy has sued the city, seeking to preserve three historic buildings that the City Council earlier this month agreed could be demolished to make way for a development. California Domestic Water Co. wants to demolish an office building dating back to 1934, a 1932 pump house and a single-family home built in 1921. The company plans to build a restaurant and an office building on the property, which is on the north side of Whittier Boulevard, across from the Whittwood Town Center. On May 8, the Whittier City Council, on a 3-2 vote, agreed the structures could be demolished. But Jim Byerrum, president of California Domestic Water Co., said he is disappointed that the conservancy has sued. “We went through due process and had a decision by the council,” Byerrum said. However, California Domestic Water Co. has agreed to voluntarily delay its request for a demolition permit until next week, said Nancy Mendez, Whittier assistant city manager. At the May 8 meeting, the council reversed a Historic Resources Commission decision that some or all of the buildings were representative of a historic period; exemplified an architectural style (art deco); have a unique location; are connected with a use that was common but now rare; and were the site of a historic event. But city staff and the council’s slim majority disagreed. Jeff Collier, Whittier’s director of community development, said the buildings were neither significant architecturally nor the site of important events. But Dorothea Boyd, the conservancy’s president, said the city should have considered some kind of reuse of the buildings. “People can get corporate, replicated cheaply-constructed fad development anywhere and everywhere,” Boyd said. “Whittier is special. “Cal Domestic has been a prominent feature on Whittier Boulevard for 75 years. There’s just no reason to destroy those lovely buildings,” she added. Byerrum said the existing buildings are too small for a restaurant and in too poor condition to be saved. In fact, he said his company had offered to allow someone to move the house, and it was willing to pay up to $50,000 for its relocation. No one has accepted the offer, he added. firstname.lastname@example.org (562)698-0955, Ext. 3022 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!