Ken Harrison 8:30 a.m., Sept. 29
Save Our Heritage Organisation defends The Castle, sues City Council to return building's historical designation
Lawsuit filed on April 8th looks to overturn appeal granted by city council.
Fresh off their victory over the Plaza de Panama project, historic preservation group Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) is heading back to court.
This time, SOHO has a new mission; to defend the "Castle." Built in 1927, the Luscomb Building, is located at 1769 and 1797 San Diego Avenue, and was given an official historical resource designation by the Historical Resources Board in March of 2012.
That designation didn't sit well with the building's owner, Adam Lorell, who purchased the "Castle" in 2010 with hopes of expanding his business known as "the Diamond Connection." The historical designation prevents major changes to historical structures and is seen by some owners as an obstacle in moving forward with desired renovations.
Months after the board's decision, Lorell headed to the city council to challenge the designation.
On March 12, 2013, the city council, except Council President Todd Gloria and Sherri Lightner, agreed with Lorell and voted in favor of the appeal.
During that council hearing, councilmembers claimed that the building was not the only one of its kind in San Diego and did not deserve the official historic tag.
"There were errors in this designation," said councilmember David Alvarez during the March 12 hearing. "I believe that the ruling that this is the only programmatic building with the castle motif was erroneous."
SOHO, of course, disagreed. Now the group is marching forward to defend the Castle.
On April 8, the SOHO filed suit against the city council asking that the "Court issue a peremptory writ of mandate ordering the City of San Diego and its City Council to set aside and void the decision to grant the appeal ofthe Historical Resources Board's designation of the Castle as a City historical resources site, to return the Castle to the Historical Resources Register," and requested that no alterations occur without approval from the Historical Resources Board.
Read the complaint and motion to stay any renovations here:
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- Historical Designation of Lund House Stands...For Now — Sept. 13, 2011
- SOHO Sues City Over Plaza de Panama Plan — Aug. 3, 2011
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