Locals try to stall Briones demolition

Locals try to stall Briones demolition

There are 13 comments on the Palo Alto Daily News story from Jan 25, 2007, titled Locals try to stall Briones demolition. In it, Palo Alto Daily News reports that:

The long struggle between the city of Palo Alto and the owners of the Juana Briones residence over the historical home's demolition continued this week when residents began clamoring for a full review of the ...
The long struggle between the city of Palo Alto and the owners of the Juana Briones residence over the historical home's demolition continued this week when residents began clamoring for a full review of the site's significance. <br/> <br/>Members of the Juana Briones Heritage Foundation, aided by land preservationist attorney Susan Brandt-Hawley, asked the Palo Alto City Council this week to conduct an environmental impact review before permitting the demolition. <br/> <br/>"It's the oldest existing structure in Palo Alto and it's associated with Juana Briones, a personage of historical significance," said Clark Akatiff, board member of the foundation. "You can't just grant a demolition permit without doing an environmental impact review." <br/> <br/>In a Jan. 22 letter to the Council, Brandt-Hawley said the review is required under the California Environmental Quality Act and cited the city's municipal code requiring "a moratorium in the issuance of any demolition permit while the Historical Resources Board reviews the project and makes recommendations." <br/> <br/>"There's no indication that the city is not going to do (a review.)," Brandt-Hawley said Wednesday. "We just wanted to communicate early on that CEQA needs to be followed." <br/> <br/>She noted that conducting the review is separate from the recent court decision allowing Jiam Nulman and Avelyn Welczer, the homeowners, to raze the house. <br/> <br/>In November, the 6th Appellate District of the California Court of Appeals ruled that the city had missed its opportunity to enforce the Mills Act, which provides tax relief to owners of historic homes in exchange for maintaining the property. The city will also have to pay the couple $275,000 in legal fees. <br/> <br/>"We want to see all the alternatives listed and considered," said Gail Woolley, the foundation's co-president and a former mayor of Palo Alto. "The most reasonable alternative is that they offer the property for sale before they demolish the house." <br/> <br/>The city signed the Mills Act contract with the home's previous owners while Woolley was mayor, she said. <br/> <br/>Brandt-Hawley said she recently prevented a similar demolition of the historic Griffin House on the campus of Foothill College. <br/> <br/>But Akatiff pointed out that the review "would not necessarily protect the house indefinitely." <br/> <br/>"A demolition permit might still be issued because measures of mitigation (may come up in the review)," he said. "But until a study is done, there's no way of knowing this." <br/> <br/>The City Council met with city attorneys on Monday night in closed session on the matter, but did not report any action. <br/> <br/>The attorney representing the homeowners could not be reached for comment Wednesday. <br/> <br/>Located at 4155 Old Adobe Road, the home was built in the 1840s by Briones, a farmer and rancher who sold food, traded hides internationally and helped manage a smallpox outbreak in Marin County, according to the foundation's Web site. <br/> <br/>"She was a woman in a man's world who nonetheless was able to hold her own," Akatiff said. <br/> <br/>E-mail Kristina Peterson at [email protected] <br/>
Vladimir Guerrero

El Dorado, CA

#1 Jan 27, 2007
The building in question is part of the strong Hispanic (Spanish, Mexican and Native American) heritage of our state, the cultural substratum from which California's tolerance for racial, national, religious, sexual and personal differences originated. Having become not only the most populous state, but the quintessence, and in many ways the trend setter of our nation, we have a responsibility to maintain those sites which give tangible evidence of this heritage. Our nation did not spring only from Plymouth Rock, Williamsburg and Philadelphia. California must not allow sites such as this to disappear!

V. Guerrero, author of "The Anza Trail and the Settling of California"
Amado

Tehachapi, CA

#2 Jan 27, 2007
No to demolition.
joyce

North Kingstown, RI

#3 Jan 28, 2007
It's beyond me why people buy historic houses with the intent to tear them down. Is there no other property these people could have bought? I hope they will sell this to someone who will preserve it.
Enrique Briones

San Antonio, TX

#4 Jan 29, 2007
Anithing that represents our roots and heritage in this country should be preserved especialy something so tangible as a building,so defenitly NO TO DEMOLITION!
Uncle Buck

Chesterfield, MO

#5 Jan 29, 2007
If the family owning the property wished to have it torn down without delay they would have accomplished the task easily by making a case for it being a holy site revered by Evangelical Christians.
Lorraine Frain

Foster City, CA

#6 Mar 2, 2007
Docents welcomed visitors to tour the Briones House for many years until the current owners totally ABANDONED the place and allowed NATURE to take over! This indicates that the current owners NEVER intended to live in the house--they had their own selfish agenda--Destroy the House. Demolition of the House will hurt the wild animal & plant life & rob us of California history.
eric

Simi Valley, CA

#7 Mar 2, 2007
any of you good folk make an offer to buy the place?
Therese

United States

#8 Mar 10, 2007
I had the pleasure of living in that home for one year, and the memories of that time are etched into my heart as well as my mind. What a loss this is for all Californians. Is there no chance for a stay of execution?
Sally Wiatrolik

United States

#9 Mar 12, 2007
Dear Kristina,
Thank you for this article. In the online version I am viewing, could you please include a link to our webstie, which is www.brioneshouse.org
??
We would really appreciate it!
Thank you.
Sally Wiatrolik, webmaster
JBHF
Cathleen

Northridge, CA

#10 Apr 16, 2007
So much of our Californio history has been lost to development--please, let's preserve what little we do have left. The Juana Briones house should remain as a tribute to the resilience, creativity, and courage of a great California pioneer.
Walter_ E_ Wallis

United States

#11 Apr 17, 2007
I'm with eric on this. Sorry, eric.
Uncle Buck

San Pablo, CA

#12 Apr 17, 2007
Vladimir Guerrero wrote:
The building in question is part of the strong Hispanic (Spanish, Mexican and Native American) heritage of our state, the cultural substratum from which California's tolerance for racial, national, religious, sexual and personal differences originated.
Sexual...from the Briones house? Who knew.
Shaquanna

San Diego, CA

#13 May 7, 2007
Please find a solution to protect and preserve this home. It is a part of our history. Although raised in the Bay Area, and now living in San Diego, I support preserving and protecting this home.

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