San Diego City Council chambers. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The San Diego City Council Tuesday approved five appointments to the often undermanned Historical Resources Board, but rejected the reappointment of a current member.

The approved appointments to the 11-member panel — which can designate individual historical sites, establish historical districts and review development projects that may affect historical resources — were historian Diana Reynolds-Cordileone, archeologist Cindy Stankowski, Realtor Amy Strider Harleman, landscape architect David McCullough and Todd Pitman, a general representative.

Reynolds-Cordileone and Stankowski are new to the board. The rest were reappointments. The reappointment of architect Richard Larimer was rejected.

Dionne Carlson of the Neighborhood Historical Resources Coalition said that between vacancies and members of the board often having to recuse themselves because of conflicts of interest, it is often hard to get a quorum at meetings.

“It’s an 11-member board — it takes six members to designate a historical resource,” Carlson told the council.

“If you only have six members in the room, that is an unreasonably high bar for … community members who are trying to qualify their homes for the Mills Act, or neighborhoods that are trying to get historic districts in place,” Carlson said. “They have to get a unanimous vote of those six members who are attending.”

The Mills Act allows for a reduction in property taxes to allow the owner to provide upkeep for a historic building.

Larimar’s reappointment was opposed by the La Jolla Historical Society, Save Our Heritage Organisation and Carlson, who contended that he “demonstrated a lack of interest in historic preservation.”

The mayor’s office said it is continuing to look for more qualified members of the public to appoint to the panel.

—City News Service

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