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
ourselves up for failure again. We need a preservation ordinance that
is supported by the community and respects the property rights of all
owners. In the past year government has really never listened to the
voices from the community and property owners who are effected by a
new Historic Preservation Ordinance.
It should be notated that 83%s of all homeowners who spoke at Planning
Commission hearings favored a VOLUNTARY historic preservation
ordinance. Hence, the new Task Force representatives should reflect
these numbers in order to property represent the community’s historic
Because creating a Preservation Ordinance is a complicated process
which includes knowledge of the laws, we are asking that Larry Nokes
be appointed to the new Task Force. He has spent countless hours in
the last three years to understand all the laws. In our community he
is the single most knowledgeable resident we have He is willing to
sere the city to create a great historic preservation ordinance that
Hello Council Members —
I wanted to take a moment to write to you about the City Councils selection of members to the Historic Preservation Task Force especially since my own home is impacted by the current draft historic preservation ordinance.
I think that to avoid “recycling” of previously expressed opinions on the matter it is important to that the task force be permitted to look at the matter anew with a fresh perspective. That will not occur if it is dominated by past participants. To that end I would recommend that the council choose members of the public that were not previously involved in creating the current draft ordinance when it configures the task force.
I would suggest that if a consultative resource (perhaps a previous participant) is needed that the task force be allowed to request the individual that they require information from which might vary based upon the expertise needed and that this individual attends and serves at the discretion of the committee.
In order for the committee to reflect the patina of the community it is important that it mirror the spectrum of views offered at past planning commission/city council meetings which overwhelmingly included voluntary, incentive based participation in the historic preservation program.
Hopefully the Council will gain some insights from this effort as it attempts for find a path forward. Thank-you for your time and consideration to my thoughts on the matter.
220 Cypress Drive
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Dear Toni Iseman and Steve Dicterow,
In considering the selection of members for the Task Force, please choose members of the public who have not been involved in creating the present draft of the ordinance. I hope you will follow the wishes of the full Council that past members of the Planning Commission, Heritage Committee, City Council and other officials already involved be excluded from the Task Force.
Please choose members who will show the perspective that a majority of property owners and citizens affected by the Ordinance who talked at the past Planning Commission and City Council meetings support voluntary, incentive based historic preservation.
Thank you for your service to the City of Laguna Beach.
I am in concert with the recommendations promoted and supported by Let Laguna Live, a local grassroots group of concerned long-time Laguna homeowners who seek a Historic Preservation Ordinance that is voluntary and incentive based. I urge Council to adopt the proposed tenets protecting and ensuring Laguna’s unique identity, embracing visionary creative adaptations carrying forth our city’s culture and history.
Criteria: Task Force member selections should include:
1.Selecting members of the public not previously involved in crafting the current draft of the historic preservation ordinance.
2. Current and past members of the planning commission, heritage committee, city council and other government positions already involved in this issue should not be part of this task force.
3. Select candidates who support voluntary, incentive based historic preservation as expressed by a majority of citizens and Council.
Leah Vasquez, Artist
The Board of Supervisors is demonstrating considerable forethought in not only recognizing the flaws in the current historic preservation ordinance, but in seeking solutions through the establishment of an Historic Preservation Task Force. It is now imperative to ensure the success of this body.
It is axiomatic that this new endeavor must incorporate new thoughts and perspectives. This means that the members selected for the task force cannot represent the old paradigm that we are seeking to replace. The members should instead come from the homeowners that would be affected by an historic ordinance, and not those with experience only in the policies we hope to change, e. g., city staff and members of the committees, commissions and boards entrenched in existing policy.
At the same time, having informed members on the task force is important. While there are many qualified individuals, one in particular stands out by virtue of his commitment and knowledge. Larry Nokes has spent years understanding the intricacies and legalities of the issues at hand and should certainly be appointed to this group.
I hope you will consider these points when selecting the members of the Historic Preservation Task Force. They are critical to the Force’s success, and many of us will be monitoring and participating in the process over the coming months.
David S. Watkins
Dear Tony and Steve,
Representing four generations of Laguna Beach residents, my wife and I strongly encourage you to follow the suggestions of “Let Laguna Live” and elect independent representatives for the Historic Preservation Task Force. We ask that the new group not be made up of any past or present Laguna Beach City Council members or city staff, Design Review Board members, Heritage Committee and/or Planning Commission members. We would like to see a preservation ordinance that is supported by the community which respects the property rights of all owners. In the past, we don’t feel that the City has fully appreciated the voices from the community and property owners who are – or will be – affected by a new Historic Preservation Ordinance.
Please recall that 83% of all homeowners who spoke at Planning Commission hearings favored a voluntary historic preservation ordinance.
We sincerely hope you help create a new Task Force that fairly represents the views of the community and its property owners that happen to live in older homes (especially those that want to keep them up to date and energy efficient). We would also like to encourage you to appoint Larry Nokes to the Task Force as he is truly our best local resource and understands the law.
Thank You and Best Regards,
Dave Bryant and Debby Nash
We need to protect the property rights of those who have resided in Laguna a long time
and haveupgraded the property that they purchased years ago. Our community is
proud of the older homes with a unique and interesting look. We need to work
together to achieve this. Thank you all for your time and work.
Anne and Don Polkingharn
Based on the number of property owners who are directly affected by this matter, it would be fair to choose task force members who have a direct financial interest. The outcome of this issue could create a huge financial loss for many homeowners.
Dear Ms. lseman and Mr. Dicterow,
In considering the selection of members for the Task Force, I strongly urge you to please choose members of the public who have not been involved in creating the present draft of the ordinance. I hope you will follow the wishes of the full Council that past members of the Planning Commission, Heritage Committee, City Council and other officials already involved be excluded from the Task Force. Please choose members who will show the perspective that a majority of property owners and citizens affected by the Ordinance who talked at the past Planning Commission and City Council meetings support voluntary, incentive based historic preservation.
Thank you for your serious consideration of this important matter.
Morton La Kretz
My interest in the Historic Preservation Ordinance is that I live in a 1000 square foot, one bedroom house which is over 70 years old and on a large lot. My request is that you appoint at least some members of the Task Force who have a grounding in the economic impact any ordinance would have on owners. I think we all want Laguna to retain its “charm”, and it is easy to do if you create a plan which requires someone else to pay. It is especially difficult to balance the equities in this situation because so many of the cottages have been torn down and replaced with modern homes – so if you made it in “under the line” you received treatment that would no longer be available to those faced with a Historic Preservation Ordinance that puts a heavy burden on the homeowners. In my view, we have a very active Design Review system which provides the oversight that is necessary to handle development within our town. Thank you for your consideration.
Dear Council Members Iseman & Dicterow:
I am reaching out to you regarding the Historic Preservation Task Force that you are forming. I am a lifelong resident of Laguna Beach and a property owner who would be impacted by a historic preservation ordinance. I understand you are selecting members of the task force tomorrow and wanted to express my thoughts regarding the task force composition.
I am hopeful that you will strive to form a task force that adequately reflects the majority viewpoints of the property owners actually impacted by a potential ordinance. As you are undoubtedly aware from the numerous public meetings held on this issue, the vast majority of the impacted property owners who have spoken at the hearings favor voluntary, incentive-based historic preservation only, as opposed to a mandatory ordinance. If your goal is to form a task force that actually represents the impacted citizens’ viewpoint, this should be the paramount criterion in making your selections tomorrow. Please do not let your choices be motivated by the (perhaps) “well-connected” voices of what I believe stand for only the minority viewpoint on this issue.
In addition, I ask that you please do your best to ensure that the members of the task force are those who were not previously involved in drafting the current ordinance. As was discussed extensively at the last City Council meeting on this issue, the goal in forming the task force was to take a step forward and try something new and different from what was done in the past on this issue. Selecting members who were involved in creating the situation we are faced with today would completely defeat that purpose. In particular, if you select members who were involved in drafting the current ordinance – i.e., people who have already had their chance to be involved, whose voices have been heard, and who have left us in the state of affairs we are in today – it would suggest you are not actually interested in moving forward with fresh perspectives and have already made up your minds about this issue. I hope that is not the case.
Thank you for your attention and consideration of these points.
Dear City Leaders:
As a global homeowner of several heritage properties across diverse historical/cultural communities of the world, I along with many LB neighbors would like to support the future success of Laguna Beach in the preservation of its architectural resources in a balanced and skillful direction/manner.
As such may I appeal to the sensibility of the LB City Council that the formation, selection & composition of the Historic Preservation Ordinance Task Force process reflects the integrity of this world class community by:
1. Strategic demonstration that the enlightened LB leadership will truly serve the spirit of homeowners who’re objecting to forced placement of their properties onto city-classified involuntary placement (especially class C listing) by helping select some ‘new bloods’ w fresh perspectives who are already current members of Design Review, Heritage, Planning Committees, nor previously been involved in the development of current contentious ordinance, etc. This will help prevent LB from becoming misperceived as poster child community of an incestuous cabal of conservation nepotism bent on subserving/railroading homeowners from their fair preference/needs/freedom of their conserved property use through unfair maneuvering tactics which affect their property right/ownership freedom & valuation. We don’t need to attract regional, national nor international media interest on what is currently perceived already as undemocratic maneuvers of property ownership right interference that will surely affect their property worth thru unwise ‘heritage preservation’ ordinance that could possibly affect the city in future costly group action lawsuit!
2. In my multigenerational international heritage property ownership & global international leadership experience, it will be far more costly public relations dollar-wise over time to pay the cost of the clean up of future negative image rather than prevent our LB community now against the general perception of people about south OC/LB community as bastion of extreme hard-fisting heritage conservation ordinance zone.
3. As such please kindly consider wise selection of Historic Conservation committee applicants who reflect our overall LB community residents’ spirits such as applicants # 25 Larry Nokes, Barbara Smith, etc.
Respectfully submitted for your kind & understanding consideration.
Nampet Panichpant-Michelsen, David Michelsen & family
South LB, CA
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