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 want to be listed.
I’ve owned several homes and rental properties in Laguna over the last 42 years. My current residence is K listed. I purchased the property in 1979 and at that time there was no historic inventory listing or Design Review Board. The house was a derelict house with broken windows and a weed choked yard. There were no homes being remodeled in North Laguna. (Times certainly have changed) I proceeded to remodel and replaced every window and door, taking the home down to the studs. The only original thing about the home as it stands today is the exterior chimney and some of the original fir floors. I have many photographs of the house over time as the home morphed with each new owner. There were many exterior design changes. This home is not architecturally original.
The home is historical because of the people who originally built the house. That is its historical claim, not the architecture. The original house’s long front porch and other architectural details disappeared over the years. By the time I bought the house that was all gone. This house “just growed” like Topsy. Every family wanted to put their mark on the home and over the years the home has changed and grown to accommodate its owners.
That should not change. Each new owner should be able to make changes to fit their needs that are consistent with the neighborhood and following the permit and Design Review guidelines.
We are being overzealous in listing homes. Why does Laguna need to list and categorize homes with a historic rating, when homes over 50 years old will automatically be reviewed as to their historic value when the owner applies for a building permit? We also have Design Review that is pretty thorough and responsive to concerns. Why do we need another layer of regulation?
If it is allowed to go forward, this listing of homes is additional regulation and an invasion and taking of property rights that will change your ability to make changes to your home. It will invite unnecessary added scrutiny, which is costly and time consuming. If this is finalized it does reduce the value of your property.
I do not want my home on the list. It is too problematic.
Pat Carpenter, Laguna Beach
Originally published in The Indy, June 29, 2017