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 Mayor Bob Gentry, in a City Council meeting on May 2, 1989, when the Historic Preservation Ordinance was up for discussion, stated ” it was never intended that this be anything but voluntary.” Mayor Gentry instructed that the proposed ordinance should be returned to the city planners “with the instructions that private property placed on the list is done at the pleasure of the property owner, not the city”

If history is important, then research supports that inclusion of your home in the Historical Preservation program was encouraged, but clearly meant to be voluntary.

Clearly, property rights and property values are affected. For that reason alone it’s an incursion into your rights as an owner; without permission it is wrong.

Any ordinance/listing needs to be voluntary as originally intended by our city and incentive based.

Pat Carpenter, Laguna Beach

Originally published in The Indy, August 10, 2017


  1. Hillary Cole on August 17, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    I hope you will share a copy of this letter with Let Laguna Live! and all the Planning Commissioners when this item returns the Agenda (currently scheduled for September 6, but they may vote to postpone it to October when addressing the agenda item).

  2. Ralene Strauss on September 2, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Pat, this letter is “gold”! Thank you for sharing it with us. Please make a zillion copies of it. Every person contesting this ordinance should have a copy! In fact please send a copy to every member of the Planning Commission.

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