paso robles historic homes

The Paso Robles Planning Commission met last night to discuss the city’s “Historic Resources,” which means homes and buildings that might be worthy of historic preservation. See agenda item here.

In 2014 the Paso Robles City Council approved the demolition of the Macklin home at 1527 Park Street. The council reluctantly took the action after the homeowner showed how dilapidated the interior of the home had become due to damage caused following earthquake damage more than 10 years ago. Following the decision, the council directed the planning commission to take a close look at the city’s “Historic Preservation Ordinance,” and see how we can act to better preserve our historic resources.

Several speakers came to support the formation of a committee in support of the city’s historic resources including Norma Moye of Paso Robles Main Street, Margaret Holstein, Dale Gustin and Pete Schroeder. Commission Chairman Vince Vanderlip suggested a standing Historic Preservation Committee to meet quarterly to strategize on property maintenance, community education and outreach to the owners of historic properties.

In the end, the commission voted unanimously to form an ad hoc committee of Daryl Cooper, Tom Burgett and myself. Our goal will be to consider proposing a standing committee and seek community input. One suggestion is to include representation from the city’s historical society, Paso Robles Main Street, and other interested parties. I would think that Realtors and the chamber of commerce would be interested as well.

A couple of thoughts:

  • • I would like to learn more about how a property is included. What are the standards for being added to the list?
  • • I would like to be sure owners of potentially historic properties are notified.
  • • I was surprised to learn that more than 100 properties are on the list. Many are historic gems for sure, but some were of questionable historic value, in my opinion.
  • • I agree there is tremendous value in preserving the city’s historic charm, but at the same time I want to be sure we don’t encroach on the property rights of owners.

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