Historic Preservation Ordinance Letter to City Council

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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Comparison Shows an Outdated Historical Ordinance

Over the years many Lagunans have been critical of Laguna’s historical preservation program. On Oct. 18 the Planning Commission will try again to draft a revised ordinance. But there seems to be confusion and a lack of clear direction. I called the historical preservation planners in Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Pasadena, Fullerton and Orange. It…

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You, Too, May Become a Historic Home Inventory Hostage

I own and live at 433 Locust Street. I bought my home in 1979. I am also listed on the Laguna Historic Inventory as a “K”. The historic inventory arbitrarily takes away the rights of the property owner. Most citizens do not know the inventory exists. They do not know that there are additional committees…

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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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