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Laguna Beach

Historic homes

I have an historic home, built in 1926. When I was sent a letter about 30 years ago, I didn’t respond. Not sure what it meant I thought it wise to be silent. But my silence didn’t matter. I’m on the list.

I’m getting the letters and postcards that have put fear in the hearts of many residents. I understand why people are upset.   

Because I will be voting on this item, what I can say is limited. Electeds are to gather information at a meeting before we make up our minds. 

But I have stated this at public meetings. Anyone with an historic should not be required to pay for a report. That is the responsibility of the City. There is now money budgeted to do that. 

If we value historic homes we should not make it harder on residents, but rather easier.

A dedicated, knowledgeable person should be available to give accurate information, on the spot. If we value historic homes, we need to honor the people who own them.

The advantages are many. But many homeowners have not been informed.   

Would you like to be held to a lower parking requirement?

Would you like to maintain your non-conforming lot lines encroachments?

Would you like to have higher density on your lot? 

Would you like to have a break on your property taxes? 

Do you know that you can remodel, add on, even mix the architectural style? 

If being historic is voluntary many may chose to stay on the list when the benefits are delineated.

I have heard examples of unreasonable requirements, and stories of unreasonable delays. That needs to be fixed.   

The meeting we’re having Saturday was postponed several times. Once because Larry Nokes was unavailable. Once because Kelly Boyd was not available. Once because the attorney with historic expertise was not available. The meeting on the evening of the18th was cancelled in deference to the Jewish community. Yom Kippur is the highest holy day of the Jewish calendar.   

This Saturday at 1 is an important meeting, discussing the application of the CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act. Join us at this meeting. It will be very informative.

Toni Iseman

City of Laguna Beach Councilmember

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