Guest Reviews | Todd Hays: Pasadena needs historic resources survey – Pasadena Now
Pasadena Heritage recently lost its bid to hijack the historic preservation code. Fortunately, enough members of the city council refused to participate and said “no”. Council members Hampton, Kennedy, Matsuda and Rivas should all be celebrated for their wisdom and courage.
Alongside these four City Council members, a unanimous vote opposed the appointment of the City of Pasadena Historic Preservation Commission, objected by the property owner, opposed by three former members of the Pasadena Heritage Board of Directors and opposition from the local Realtors Association. . All expressed a variety of opinions against the designation. Why? Because it was wrong.
The item on the agenda was the historic designation of a single house. This is a discussion that has been going on for years. Yes, years. More recently, the agenda item has rarely come up amidst LLC wrangling and hurt feelings. Preservation – and its importance – got lost in a municipal circus.
At the end of another hour-long discussion in council, where once again the naming issue died, did the issue finally come to an end? No. It was followed by even more talk about how to bring it back, again! Seriously? Perhaps one truth that came out of all of this was spelled out in the words “red herring.” What is it about? How can this really happen, again?
Although the endless effort is shocking and demonstrates a lack of understanding of what is important in preservation, something good can come out of it.
So let’s not go fishing. Let’s focus on another comment from this discussion that shouldn’t be lost. It came from council member Williams when she called for a citywide historic resources survey.
Imagine where the city could be today, if it hadn’t wasted years bickering over a house that clearly lacks merit. Imagine if all that effort, energy, and money had gone into creating a city-wide survey of its true historical resources.
It’s time to stop focusing on one house, while neglecting the whole city. Pasadena needs to conduct a survey of its historic treasures so that landlords, real estate agents, city staff, and city council all have a real, authenticated, unbiased, and respected document to guide these types of discussions in the future. . There are incredible historical gems all over our city, not just on one street.
Todd Hays is a former board member of Pasadena Heritage and a past president of Pasadena-Foothills Realtors