Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Court orders City to rescind 2013 CEQA action

-Updated June 3, 2015-

   Orange County Superior Court Judge Gail Andler ordered Huntington Beach on June 2, 2015, to rescind within 45 days the 2013 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) action---the Environmental Impact Report (EIR)---that rezoned the Historic Wintersburg property to commercial / industrial and included the approval for demolition.  Both actions are now moot.

   This action followed the June 1, 2015, Huntington Beach City Council meeting at which the Council voted to rescind the EIR and Statement of Overriding Consideration (the justification for demolition).

   Read the June 2 article from the Huntington Beach Independent at http://www.hbindependent.com/news/tn-hbi-me-0604-wintersburg-20150602,0,5201448.story

   Read the June 3 article from the Orange County Register at http://www.ocregister.com/articles/school-664113-company-city.html

   This week, the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force is joined by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) for a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) which will result in findings and recommendations regarding alternatives for the property's historic preservation.   

   This process involves a positive approach with stakeholder interviews to achieve broad community input.  Local stakeholders include: the property owner, neighborhood residents, adjacent school and school district, City of Huntington Beach officials and planning staff.  The National Trust will facilitate the technical assistance panel with ULI and provide input, including expertise in heritage tourism.

   We thank the many supporters, donors and businesses who are supporting this grassroots effort to save one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.  We will be posting updates as this process moves forward.


  1. I shall be cautiously optimistic - keep up the good work Mary and the Wintersburg Team

  2. As the president of the Board of Trustees for OVSD, I will present these facts from yesterday's court proceedings and the ruling. Orange County Superior Court Judge Gail Andler ruled that the City of Huntington Beach violated the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). Judge Andler was set to rule on the validity of the Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) for the rezoning of the Historic Wintersburg Site, at the June 2, 2015 hearing, but the City Council decertified the EIR at the last minute on the night before the hearing. Judge Andler ruled that the City’s action violated CEQA, because the City decertified the EIR without also rescinding the rezoning approvals that were based on the EIR. Judge Andler granted a writ of mandate ordering the City to void all project approvals, and to report back to the Court no later than July 22, 2015, to confirm that all such approvals have been vacated.


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