The Santa Clarita City Council is set to decide Sept. 27 whether to take the old Newhall Hardware building out from under a moratorium that prohibits its demolition.
Michael Guglielmino, whose family owns the vacant building formerly occupied by the hardware store, asked the City Council during its Aug. 23 meeting to remove the property from a list that identifies it as historic.
Three years ago, the City Council placed a moratorium on the demolition of four dozen properties it deemed historic or potentially historic. Guglielmino, who wants to sell the property, told the council the moratorium creates “uncertainty” about its future reuse. He said he is asking “a little over $1 million” but he can’t find a buyer at that price with the moratorium in place.
Without taking a vote at that meeting, some council members expressed the view that the former business is what made the property historic – not the building itself – and without the business operating inside it, there’s no reason to preserve the “shell.”
The council said it would consider removing Guglielmino’s property in September, and city officials said the issue will go before the council Sept. 27.
Meantime, next week, the city will hold a public meeting to gather community input on a proposed replacement of the current moratorium.
The Aug. 23 version of the proposed historic preservation ordinance would force about a dozen Newhall property owners to maintain the historic nature of their homes and businesses.
Three dozen other properties that fall under the moratorium today would be freed up for remodeling or demolition.
Most of the remaining property owners objected to being included, and the City Council instructed staff to make further modifications to the proposed ordinance.
The city staff will conduct a community meeting Thursday, Sept. 22, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex/Activities Center to learn what changes the public wants, and to discuss the addition of an “opt-out” clause that would require property owner consent before their homes or buildings can be deemed historic.
A revised ordinance could conceivably go back to the Planning Commission for approval in October, and to the City Council in November.