City Council Passes Voluntary Historic Preservation Ordinance

Congratulations to you all for the huge step toward freeing your homes from the burdens of involuntary historic designations and accompanying restrictions. Without our steady voices and support in over 30 public hearings conducted since 2016, this could have gone a different way. But we hung in, and the City Council passed the ordinance at their August 11th meeting. We went toe to toe with well-funded and well-organized opposition. Our voices and stories rose above the regular noise you have heard since 1982. We took a preservation program that started as voluntary and incentive-based, and you returned it to a voluntary and incentive-based program. Again, congratulations. We want to thank Larry Nokes, a true Laguna lawyer, who took this on and helped us beat back this 38 year assault on our beloved homes.

While the battle is won, “Let Laguna Live!” cannot yet rest. The well organized and well funded organizations have now threatened lawsuits against our City, and against your ability to chose whether or not your home will be deemed by others to be “historic.” While the “inventory” has now been pronounced dead, there is a push to continue to sow confusion as to inventory listed properties by having the city Staff continue to apply hidden restrictions. We must now make sure that the will of the community and the clear action by the Council is carried out on a staff level. The implementation and application of this ordinance by the Staff will be important, and the next several months are critical in making sure that the professional planning and zoning staff people clearly understand the message.

As more information becomes available, we will continue to keep you updated.

Let Laguna Live! Board of Directors

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