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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Letter to Laguna Beach Planning Commission Requesting Continuance and Subcommittee

Let Laguna Live! August 30, 2017 To: Honorable Chairperson Whitin and Distinguished Members of the Laguna Beach Planning Commission “Let Laguna Live!” believes that Staff failed to incorporate the specific direction of the Commission into the most recent draft of the proposed ordinance. While the draft seems to eliminate references to the inventory by name,…

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Old Letter Reflects Original Intent of Historical Preservation Rules

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…

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Hardships for Homeowners Under Proposed Preservation Rules

A new involuntary historic preservation ordinance would create for us a financial disaster. After a lifetime of voluntarily preserving a 1927 cottage, an involuntary ordinance would create a markdown of at least at $1 million. This is in terms of property value for resale and does not include the additional and impossible burden of trying…

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Planners Vote to Narrow Historic Designation

Planning Commission members voted 4-1 this past Wednesday not to adopt Laguna Beach’s 1981 Historic Inventory of homes, thus recommending to the City Council that the controversial list be used only as an informational resource document when considering proposed revisions to its Historic Preservation Ordinance. Roger McErlane cast the dissenting vote. The three-hour discussion was…

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Laguna Historic Houses Debated

Stop inventory of historic houses or extend it citywide, Laguna planning commissioners suggest By Bryce Alderton After months of listening to some residents’ requests that they be allowed to voluntary withdraw their homes from an outdated inventory of historical houses and other buildings, Laguna Beach planning commissioners on Wednesday mulled whether to halt a process already…

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Planners to weigh in on Laguna Beach’s historic preservation ordinance

The city of Laguna Beach is recommending 1955 as a cut-off year for evaluating houses and other buildings on historic merit when property owners want to remodel or make other changes. On Wednesday, the Planning Commission will vet proposed changes to Laguna Beach’s historic preservation ordinance, which outlines rules intended to “safeguard” the city’s heritage…

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Another Who Opposes Historic Home List

Editor, I have read with interest the letters of homeowners whose objections to being included in the Historic Inventory have been largely disregarded. I would like to add my name to the list of people who have a problem with their home being placed on the Laguna Historic Inventory list without permission and do not…

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Opponents of Preservation Rules Solidify Resistance

Laguna Beach Independent April 19, 2017 Opponents of Preservation Rules Solidify Resistance BY CASSANDRA REINHART, SPECIAL TO THE INDEPENDENT The flags atop the design review story poles still standing at 31987 Coast Highway are as faded as Hany Dimitri’s enthusiasm for the $6.3 million property. “I have paid hundreds of thousands to do this. They…

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Planners Step Away from Tighter Historic Rules

Planners Step Away from Tighter Historic Rules BY CASSANDRA REINHART, SPECIAL TO THE INDEPENDENT Members of the Laguna Beach Planning Commission are questioning the benefit of keeping so-called C-rated properties on the city’s 1981 historic inventory, and some questioned keeping the inventory at all. Debate over new revisions to the city’s historic preservation ordinance stretched…

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Response to City FAQ by Larry Nokes

  RESPONSE TO CITY “FAQ” By Laurence P. Nokes, Esq. And Let Laguna Live! A.    Introduction We have received and reviewed the City’s “FAQ” letter sent to people who own homes listed on City’s Historic Inventory. While we believe the document was “well intentioned,” it is based on 2 false premises: 1) That houses on…

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Presentation to the Planning Commission by Barbara Smith

As I look out of my windows, I see rows and rows of enormous homes. They are beautiful and unique in their own way. These homes were built by individuals who had the means to make substantial improvements. Time after time, all of the small cottages in my neighborhood were sold, torn down and new…

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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…

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Group urging inventoried homeowners to attend the draft ordinance hearing at Design Review Board meeting Thursday

Owners of properties listed on the city’s Historic Inventory are being urged to attend Thursday’s Design Review Board hearing on the draft Historic Preservation Ordinance. The property owners have been contacted by a letter from Let Laguna Live, a recently formed public benefit corporation. The group opposes the inclusion of all homes built before 1955…

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Further Recollections on the Historic Preservation Ordinance

Anne Frank’s recent letter ignores significant historical events and misses the mark. Historic Resources Element (HRE) of the Laguna Beach General Plan was adopted in 1981 to establish “a broad framework for both public and private efforts” and to outline “an implementation program of financial and planning incentives to promote long-term appreciation and preservation of…

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