The balance between protecting property owners’ rights and preserving the city’s heritage continues to challenge city officials.
At its meeting this week, the City Council voted unanimously to keep 75-year threshold for historic designation and demolition review.
Efforts to lower the threshold to 50 years were rejected. Instead the council voted to encourage outreach to owners of historic and significant homes to convince them to voluntarily protect them.
The council also formed a subcommittee, made up of members Carrie Downey and Mike Woiwode, to look for ways to identify them.
Doug St. Denis, Historic Resources Commission vice-chair, pointed out that there are only “a handful of significant mid-century homes.”
She provided the council with a list of homes she had already identified and urged members to “Google the names of the architects and learn about who they studied with, how they evolved. The more we understand the easier it will be to move forward. We owe them that.”
In a memo to the council, Commissioner Laura Crenshaw argued for steps the city should take to protect the homes. Among them were an update of the 2008 Coronado Property Review list of historic homes.
This idea drew support from Downey, Woiwode and Councilwoman Barbara Denny. With a list “we can contact the owner, let them know we have a program and get their houses designated,” Woiwode said. “It’s the right way to go.”
Mayor Casey Tanaka was less enthusiastic. He had been though efforts to compile a list before and had little faith in the process. “The key word here is voluntary. It doesn’t deal with the harder issue of involuntary,” as with 1010 Glorietta.
That home, also known as the Delawie House, was at the center of a dispute between the former owner and the city. The residence changed hands two months ago.
Downey argued that’s where the list would help. “It would let people know their house was historic and they can act accordingly,” she said.