Letter Sent January 19, 2017 to Laguna Beach Property Owners on The Historic Inventory List

January 19, 2017

Laguna Beach, California

Dear Homeowner:

YOU ARE RECEIVING THIS LETTER BECAUSE YOUR PROPERTY HAS BEEN INVOLUNTARILY INCLUDED ON THE CITY’S HISTORIC INVENTORY LIST. During the past year you probably received letters informing you that your house was on Laguna Beach’s Historic Inventory list and inviting you to attend “workshops” on a new revised Historic Preservation Ordinance. The City’s Design Review Board will be meeting on Thursday, January 26th at 5:00 p.m. at City Hall to consider a revised City-wide Historic Preservation Ordinance. If approved the ordinance soon will go on to the Laguna Planning Commission and then the City Council for a final vote.

The current proposed Historic Preservation Ordinance is designed to implement the Historic Resources element of the Laguna Beach General Plan. The General Plan originally called for a voluntary, incentive-based plan (i.e., allowed you to “apply” for historic status in return for incentives such as decreased property taxes, low interest rehabilitation loans and streamlined building permits).

The proposed Historic Preservation Ordinance, to the contrary, is not voluntary; you are already on the list! It is devoid of many meaningful incentives and is highly punitive in practice. Your ability to repair or remodel your house or add a second unit will be substantially impaired. Even if you have no present plans with respect to remodeling or rebuilding, you will be affected when, and if, you ever choose to sell your property. State law requires you to disclose the existence of the Ordinance and the restrictions imposed thereby. Your home is probably your biggest investment. Your equity may be your child’s college education or your retirement. This Ordinance will diminish your home’s value!

We are a grassroots group of concerned Laguna homeowners who seek an Ordinance that is VOLUNTARY AND INCENTIVE BASED. Many other municipalities, such as Sierra Madre, have voluntary Historic Preservation Ordinances that are very successful in preserving their community. We encourage you to go on the Laguna Beach City website and read the proposed ordinance and to attend the Design Review Board hearing on January 26th at 5:00 p.m. and any further meetings. Please tell your friends to do so as well (since every home built before 1955 in Laguna Beach will be affected). We also encourage you to contact one or more Design Review Board members, City Council members, and Planning Commission members, prior to the January 26th meeting to express your concerns. You can learn more about our grassroots Laguna organization by going to www.LetLagunaLive.org and adding your contact information for more updates.



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