In a letter I found in my files dated April 24, 1992, on city stationary sent to me, I was informed my home had been listed on the city’s Historic Resources Inventory. In the second paragraph of the letter there is the statement “that participation in the city’s Historic Preservation Program is completely voluntary.”
Former Mayor Bob Gentry, in a City Council meeting on May 2, 1989, when the Historic Preservation Ordinance was up for discussion, stated ” it was never intended that this be anything but voluntary.” Mayor Gentry instructed that the proposed ordinance should be returned to the city planners “with the instructions that private property placed on the list is done at the pleasure of the property owner, not the city”
If history is important, then research supports that inclusion of your home in the Historical Preservation program was encouraged, but clearly meant to be voluntary.
Clearly, property rights and property values are affected. For that reason alone it’s an incursion into your rights as an owner; without permission it is wrong.
Any ordinance/listing needs to be voluntary as originally intended by our city and incentive based.
Pat Carpenter, Laguna Beach
Originally published in The Indy, August 10, 2017