Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Huntington Beach City Council certifies environmental report, starts demolition clock

CONTEMPLATING THE FUTURE: Yukiko Yajima Furuta, at the Cole Ranch in Wintersburg Village, circa 1914. (Photograph courtesy of the Furuta family). All rights reserved. ©
   On November 4, the Huntington Beach City Council voted 4-3 to certify the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and approve the Statement of Overriding Consideration (which approves the justification for demolition of historic resources), a process under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). 

   Those voting in support for the re-zoning and demolition action were Mayor Pro Tem Matt Harper, and Council Members Dave Sullivan, Joe Carchio and Jim Katapodis.  Those opposing the actions to re-zone and demolish historic structures were Mayor Connie Boardman and Council Members Joe Shaw and Jill Hardy.

    The actions approve the re-zoning of the property to commercial / industrial and approve the demolition, although no development plan is proposed. There is a 30-day period after the Notice of Determination for the EIR is filed by the City of Huntington Beach during which another party may file suit.

    The City Council added a condition that Rainbow Environmental Services---the waste disposal company that currently owns the property---will provide the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force with an 18-month window to raise funds to relocate the historic structures or, possibly purchase the area of land that includes the historic structures.

Next steps
    Our next step will be to prepare the nomination for the National Register of Historic Places, to follow through on the recommendation of the U.S. National Park Service and National Trust for Historic Preservation that the property is potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under Criteria A, Japanese American Settlement of the American West.   

   And, a major fundraising effort begins.  We've only begun and call upon our readers for support.  Donations dedicated solely to the preservation of Historic Wintersburg (and with Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force and City of Huntington Beach oversight and reporting) can be made via mail or online at http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/i_want_to/give/donation-wintersburg.cfm

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The Historic Wintersburg blog focuses on an overlooked history in Huntington Beach, Orange County, California, in the interest of saving a historic property from demolition. The author and publisher reserves the right not to publish comments. Please no promotional or political commentary. Zero tolerance for hate rhetoric. Comments with embedded commercial / advertising links or promoting other projects, books, or publications may not be published. If you have an interesting anecdote, question or comment about one of our features, it will be published.