Freedom First

At a special meeting on September 29, 2018, The Laguna Beach City Council supported the freedom of choice by empowering the Historic Preservation Task Force to write a voluntary historic preservation ordinance.

For a long time you showed up, spoke up, wrote letters, made calls, talked to friends and neighbors, and generously donated to and supported this cause. We truly appreciate you and your efforts. This vote was a huge step forward on the path to a completely voluntary process. And while there is still work to be done as the task force reconvenes, please know we’ve come a long way and together we can continue to make a difference.

Finally, we want to acknowledge Larry Nokes for his unrelenting support and hard work. We are all truly grateful for his expertise, knowledge, deliverance, respect, and the countless hours he has donated and devoted to this issue.

As published by Stu News Laguna, here is full motion made by Council Member Steve Dicterow, as recorded by the City Clerk though she said it may be updated for clarification:

Subject to a structure being on the National or State register, the City of Laguna Beach is not obligated and may choose not to consider a structure as a historic status during review of a discretionary action, subject to the Historic Preservation Task Force also reviewing consistency with other current city ordinances; direct the Task Force to consider refining or drafting criteria for a local historic resource (or not), either narrowly or broadly, voluntarily or involuntarily; and if voluntarily, to design a system that creates as much incentive as possible to encourage people to want their structure to be on the Historic Register. In the transition period, under the current ordinance direct staff to process what is needed related to the CEQA standpoint paid by the City; and the subcommittee will remain the same subject to the November 6, 2018 election results.

A video the motion can be seen here and video of the full meeting can be seen here.

Your Property Rights Are at Stake!

On Saturday, September 29th at 1PM (rescheduled from September 18th) the City Council will decide if they support the rights and freedoms of home owners or if they support eliminating property rights by using state guidelines as justification to impose additional, unnecessary historic preservation regulations. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) does not require these regulations. We must convince the Council that the City is not required to implement these regulations and residents overwhelmingly support protecting property rights. It is critically important for you to attend the meeting and send messages to Council members.

Throughout California many cities have lawfully decided to protect home owner rights by interpreting CEQA state guidelines to mean that restrictions only apply to properties that appear on the state or national registry or are voluntarily added by the property owner to a local registry. This approach has resulted in many successful historical preservation programs without sacrificing property rights. Our City Council has the legal discretion to implement a historical preservation program that gives homeowners the maximum degree of freedom to choose, if or how they want to participate in historic preservation.

We believe it is our fundamental property right to choose. Urge the City Council to do everything in their power to support this right.

Attend City Council Meeting September 29th

Please attend the Special City Council Meeting:

Saturday,September 29, 2018 at 1:00 PM
City Council Chambers (505 Forest Avenue)

Attend the meeting to show your support. There is also the opportunity to speak directly to the council during the public comment period.

See the full agenda here. You can also read the full staff report here.

Contact City Council Members by Monday, September 24th

Email the City Council urging them to do everything in their power to support your property rights. Let them know that you are aware of what is at stake and that their decision on this matter is important to you as a home owner and voter in Laguna Beach. Scroll down to read more in-depth information about the issue and see letter examples.

Send your email to the following email addresses no later than Monday, September 24, 2018:

The first two email addresses send a copy to the entire City Council and City Clerk. The City Clerk must receive your letter by September 24th to ensure it is included in the packet City Council members receive before the meeting. The last email sends a copy to us at Let Laguna Live so we can add it to the letters published below.

Read More About The Issues Involved

Legal Reasons Why a Mandatory Plan is Not Required

VIA ELECTRONIC AND FIRST CLASS MAIL Kelly Boyd, Mayor Rob Zur Schmiede, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow, Councilmember Toni Iseman, Councilmember Bob Whalen, Councilmember Re: Historic Preservation Ordinance Dear Mayor Boyd and Council Members: Recent discussions of the revisions to the Historic Preservation Ordinance have generated much discussion of General Plan and CEQA mandates. Some…

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City has Full Discretion on Historical Preservation Ordinance

Please attend the July 31 special council meeting to voice support of a new Historical Preservation Program (HPP) that is based on voluntary participation and private initiative. This meeting will focus on the discretion the City has under state laws to implement a new ordinance. These facts show that the City has maximum discretion: 1.…

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Letters to City Council

The letters below were sent to help convince the Laguna Beach City Council that the City is not required to have a mandatory ordinance and residents overwhelmingly support voluntary historic preservation. Learn more about the Special City Council Meeting here.     Property Rights, YES. Freedom to Choose, YES. Freedom to opt on or opt…

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Historical Preservation Ordinance Task force Interrupted

After many long meetings regarding the Historical Preservation Ordinance, the City Council voted in favor of forming a Task Force of residents to study and ultimately, make recommendations back to them for action. Council members Steve Dicterow and Toni Iseman volunteered to act as facilitators for the Task force and subsequently interviewed and appointed eleven…

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Response to CEQA Article

The following letter is in response to an article published by Stu News on July 31, 2018. Dear Barbara, Thank you for covering the historic preservation issue. I wanted to make a couple of clarifications in the article. “Historic resource” is a defined term in CEQA. In a nutshell, lead agencies (like the City) are required…

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Historic Preservation Ordinance: Council clarifies City’s position on CEQA requirements

The City Council on Saturday took the legal position that the California Environmental Quality Act does not require the city to evaluate projects during a design review to determine if the structure is a local historic resource. Requirements for the local historic resource designation on projects are up to the lead agency, in this case…

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