Our Request to the City

We have asked that the City make the following disclosures to the public tomorrow night, in light of the FAQ positions they have taken:

1. The current inventory creates no presumption of historicity and is not valid for any CEQA purpose.
2. That the intention of the city is to merge the old inventory into a new inventory which will then create a presumption that the homes listed thereon are historic resources.
3. As of this time, homes that were formerly on the inventory are neither “mandatory” nor “presumptive” resources for purposes of CEQA.
4. Inclusion of the properties on a new inventory will make the properties presumptive historical resources.
5. The owner of the property will have the burden of proving that the house listed on the inventory is not historic, rather than the city having the burden of proving that it is historic.
6. That if the house is a historic resource, additional limitations restrict the homeowner’s ability to remodel the house.
7. It is not in the individual homeowners interest to be listed in the inventory.
8. It is in the individual homeowners interest to be listed in the register and to receive benefits, if that is what the homeowner wants.
9. The city acknowledges that the inclusion of a home as an historic resource may have a significant diminishing impact on the home’s value.
10. Nothing requires the city to create or maintain an historic inventory.
11. Many cities in Southern California do not maintain a historic inventory.
12. The vast majority of cities in California that have implemented an Historical Preservation Ordinance have made them voluntary and incentive based. Without the inventory, that is what Laguna Beach currently has and what the General Plan requires.
13. Historic Preservation Ordinances that impose mandatory regulations work well when you have “historic districts” because residents choose to form a district and regulations apply to everyone equally.
14. Laguna Beach does not have any “historic districts.”
15. Mandatory regulation of historic inventory homes scattered throughout the city raises due process and equal protection concerns (regarding inclusion on an inventory and spot zoning), as well as litigation and enforcement concerns. Policy makers should consider the fiscal effects of a mandatory Ordinance.

I think the public needs to know this in addition to the information they published, that makes it seem as though they are promoting the proposed ordiance.

Best Regards,

Laurence P. Nokes, Esq.


  1. Jennifer W. Zeiter on March 14, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Excellent position statement and agree 100%. We will be there at the March 15th meeting to support Let Laguna Live and to stop this city and city council from continuing their encroachment on and unlawful taking of homeowners property rights.

    • MA on March 27, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      Thanks for your comment we will be gearing up for another Planning commission meeting on April 19th.

  2. Cheryl Herfurth on July 8, 2017 at 11:47 am

    I can’t disagree with you more strongly. You are not honoring our history by promoting and supporting the demolition of the vintage beach cottages that contribute to the charm of Laguna Beach. You are destroying the very reason many want to visit or live in this area. Remodeling on the same scale as the original dwelling does not detract from the unique charm of Laguna Beach; however, tearing down vintage cottages to build mini- or mega-mansions should not be allowed. When you speak of property rights, they should also include the rights of home owners who bought cottages in the neighborhood in part because of the existing homes surrounding them. Each demolition of a vintage cottage destroys a part of the charm of the neighborhood. If this continues, Laguna Beach will lose what makes it so special and unique.

    • letlagunalive_pxns3z on August 17, 2017 at 11:26 am

      Thank you for your input. Let Laguna Live! supports the preservation of historic properties in Laguna Beach through a voluntary, incentive based process. To protect the unique charm of Laguna Beach, the City already has in place the Design Review Board that “plays a large role in protecting the village atmosphere of the City.” For more information about how Let Laguna Live! wants to promote the preservation of Historic Properties in Laguna Beach please refer to this article and the other articles found here.

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