Five years ago, Del Mar's Historic Preservation Advisory Committee inventoried over 50 homes and suggested their involuntary designations as historic structures. By prohibiting remodeling and demolition, those designations promised reduced property values and diminished property rights. Only a bitter fight by affected homeowners forced the city abandonment of historic preservation.
That fight was unmitigated hell for the homeowners. They sought mercy and relief, but the committee gave them neither. At committee meetings, homeowners impotently heard committee members describing their homes as committee properties.
One committee member even described the homes of effete homeowners as low-hanging fruit.
Walking the streets, every historic homeowner felt like a Jew wearing the Star of David in Nazi Germany. Both the homeowner and the Jew wondered why the authorities persecuted them and ignored others.
Now a recent Sandpiper article advocates revisiting historic preservation. For the historic homeowners that advocation unleashes the cry: "Stop the suffering before it begins again." The homeowners do not want to revisit historic preservation anymore than the Jews want to revisit Dachau. Del Mar does not need historic preservation anymore than the Jews need another holocaust.
John Haraden Del Mar