Historic Preservation Ordinance hearing moved again

By BARBARA DIAMOND The Historic Preservation Ordinance hearing has been moved again, this time to 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept 29, to avoid conflict with Yom Kippur. City Manager John Pietig was directed at Tuesday’s council meeting to find a date with no conflicts between Sept 18 and Oct 30. “The conflict was brought to our…

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Response to CEQA Article

The following letter is in response to an article published by Stu News on July 31, 2018. Dear Barbara, Thank you for covering the historic preservation issue. I wanted to make a couple of clarifications in the article. “Historic resource” is a defined term in CEQA. In a nutshell, lead agencies (like the City) are required…

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Historical Preservation Ordinance Task force Interrupted

After many long meetings regarding the Historical Preservation Ordinance, the City Council voted in favor of forming a Task Force of residents to study and ultimately, make recommendations back to them for action. Council members Steve Dicterow and Toni Iseman volunteered to act as facilitators for the Task force and subsequently interviewed and appointed eleven…

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Letters to City Council

The letters below were sent to help convince the Laguna Beach City Council that the City is not required to have a mandatory ordinance and residents overwhelmingly support voluntary historic preservation. Learn more about the Special City Council Meeting here.     My wife and I represent four generations of Laguna residents that love our…

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City has Full Discretion on Historical Preservation Ordinance

Please attend the July 31 special council meeting to voice support of a new Historical Preservation Program (HPP) that is based on voluntary participation and private initiative. This meeting will focus on the discretion the City has under state laws to implement a new ordinance. These facts show that the City has maximum discretion: 1.…

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Special City Council Meeting September 29th at 1pm

Your Property Rights Are at Stake! On Saturday, September 29th at 1PM (rescheduled from September 18th) the City Council will decide if they support the rights and freedoms of home owners or if they support eliminating property rights by using state guidelines as justification to impose additional, unnecessary historic preservation regulations. The California Environmental Quality…

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Group Rallies to Support Voluntary Historic Preservation

Local residents attended a Let Laguna Live! information session about voluntary, incentive-based historic preservation policies last Friday, June 15. The grassroots group of local property owners seek a historic preservation ordinance that requires the city to obtain the consent of the owners before placing their homes on a historic preservation list. Established in 2017, Let…

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Locals gather at Let Laguna Live! rally on Friday

On Friday afternoon, June 15, local residents gathered together at 410 Broadway Street to enjoy tacos and refreshments at a rally and information session to support voluntary, incentive-based historic preservation. The gathering was sponsored by Let Laguna Live! and proceeds from the event will be used to support the group’s ongoing educational efforts. Photo by…

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Let Laguna Live

By Michael Ray Almost everyone already knows about the horrors of the city’s Design Review Board. That is because anyone who has gone through it hates it with a vengeance, and they have good reason. That reason: to get a permit to build or remodel anything, you must endure the DRB and you discover one…

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Historic Preservation Task Force Letters to City Council

We are asking for our collective voices to be heard now when appointing the new Historic Preservation Task Force committee. To have the new Task Force made up of any past or present Laguna Beach City Council members or city staff, Design Review Board members, Heritage Committee and Planning Commission members would be to set…

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Historic Ordinance Preservation Task Force Applications

At the January 23, 2018 City Council meeting (video found here) the council voted to form a Historic Preservation Ordinance Task Force which will attempt to reach consensus on the Historic Preservation Ordinance and provide recommendations back to the City Council. The task force will consist of nine members of the public selected by City Council…

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Preservation Ordinance Should be Put to a Citywide Vote

Editor, After attending the special City Council meeting on Saturday, Dec. 16, I came away thinking, do the residents and property owners of Laguna Beach ready need “this?” Only one of my 11 North Laguna neighbors, who I met as I took a morning walk, thinks it’s a good idea. The other 10 gave it…

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Legal Reasons Why a Mandatory Plan is Not Required

VIA ELECTRONIC AND FIRST CLASS MAIL Kelly Boyd, Mayor Rob Zur Schmiede, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow, Councilmember Toni Iseman, Councilmember Bob Whalen, Councilmember Re: Historic Preservation Ordinance Dear Mayor Boyd and Council Members: Recent discussions of the revisions to the Historic Preservation Ordinance have generated much discussion of General Plan and CEQA mandates. Some…

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Another Go-round on Preservation Rules

A yet-to-be assembled task force will tackle fine-tuning of proposed revisions to the city’s historic preservation ordinance, the Laguna Beach City Council decided at a packed special workshop. Establishing a planning process for owners of historic property to make changes to their homes remains the biggest unresolved hurdle to a rewrite of the city’s historic…

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Reject Overly Complex Historic Preservation Rules

Editor, I read with interest the letter to the editor of Doug Cortez. Together with his comments at the Dec. 16 City Council meetings, facts become clear. First, the historical ordinance is an option not a mandate. The ordinance under consideration is egregious and costly, especially when thousands of Laguna Beach residents awake to find…

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Successful Historic Preservation Workshop

Congratulations to the Staff, Council, and Public for their participation in a successful Historic Workshop held Saturday, December 16th. It was truly the first meeting on this issue where I felt the interests of all concerned were heard and addressed. The upshot of the meeting was an agreement by the Council to form a Task…

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Council Should Reject Historical Preservation Ordinance

Editor, Please attend the 9 a.m. Dec. 16 City Council meeting. The Planning Commission ordinance revisions expands the definition of a “historical resource” under the CEQA law. Hundreds of homes in Laguna will become subject to time-consuming historical reviews at the owner’s expense. CEQA grants each city the discretion to enact, or not, an historical…

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Planners Endorse Revisions to Historic Preservation Rules

Faced with a loud overflow crowd this past Wednesday, Laguna Beach planning commissioners voted 4-1 to recommend revisions of the city’s historic preservation ordinance to the City Council. Commissioner Sue Kempf cast the dissenting vote. Several outbursts from the public prompted commissioners to warn they would end discussion on the ordinance if members of the…

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Amid arguments, Laguna’s historic preservation ordinance moves to the City Council

Despite repeated calls from residents to reject the latest version of proposed changes to Laguna Beach’s historic preservation ordinance, the Planning Commission on Wednesday decided it was time for the City Council to review the matter. In a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner Sue Kempf dissenting, commissioners recommended proposed ordinance changes such as eliminating the city’s…

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Cottage Owners Wait in Historic Preservation Limbo

As if mourning a death, Elisa Slee can only sob her sentences. “I thought I was making an heirloom for my children and I was going to breathe 100 new years into this cottage, and it was going to be something my children would go to forever,” Slee said, catching her breath between tears. “But…

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