A proposal to declare portions of the existing Venice Canal system a cultural historical monument has been brought before the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Board.

Such a declaration would be a symbolic act only and would carry no power to block any future plans to develop the Venice Canal Waterways project.

The city is proposing an extensive redevelopment of the canals, financed in part through property assessments. Several property owners, including the Hughes Tool Co., have blocked the canal project through lawsuits.

The canals are considered public property and therefore immune from any action by the Cultural Heritage Board.

A decree by the board involving private property can prevent the owner from razing or demolishing a monument for the period of a year. But the board can take no such steps if the property involved is under the jurisdiction of another governmental agency or body and where preservation conflicts with the duty of that agency.

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