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Carolyn Kutzke purchased a 1923 Craftsman-style home in University Heights with an "airport-style" bungalow on Madison Avenue in June 2010.

Kutzke, a Point Loma-resident and owner of several historic properties, purchased the home with intentions to move a more historic home located near Scripps Mercy Hospital to the site.

In December, however, Kutzke scratched that idea after heavy rains forced major renovations. In the following months contractors removed windows from the ground floor, replaced the pillars in front of the home, and changed the slope of the roof. All was done without permits and with the knowledge that the home would likely be designated as a historic resource.

In March, the Historical Resources Board designated the board historical.

On Tuesday, September 13, Kutzke appeared before the city council hoping to overturn that historic designation. If her appeal was granted, Kutzke would not be required to restore the home according to the City's guidelines.

"Allowing people to go outside the law is a dangerous precedence," said SOHO member Dan Soderberg.

After more than an hour of public comment, councillmembers then had a chance to give comments.

Councilmembers such as Sherri Lightner, Todd Gloria, David Alvarez, and Tony Young felt that since Kutzke was aware of the designation before making the repairs, the appeal should be denied.

"This is obviously someone who is a historic preservationist, who wants what is best for that neighborhood and has made a significant investment," said Gloria. "That said we have our historic code, which is law, that we have to follow."

Councilmembers Kevin Faulconer, Marti Emerald, Carl DeMaio, and Lorie Zapf disagreed. They claimed Kutzke was only trying to make improvements and blamed the long-permitting process for the non-permitted repairs.

"I think we are in the nit-picking stage," said councilmember Lorie Zapf. "We cannot put people through this tortured process. It has to get better."

After much debate, and one deadlocked vote, the council decided to continue the item to the October 25 meeting, allowing time for Kutzke to work with the Historic Resources Board.


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Jay Allen Sanford Sept. 14, 2011 @ 1:14 a.m.

At the meeting, Council member Marti Emerald was hammering the (questionable) point that, unless the house has a certificate of authentication from the Sears Catalog, it's not a Craftsman but merely a knock off

"That attempt to lecture SOHO and the HRB about Craftsman architecture was simply idiotic," Dan Soderberg posted on Facebook after the meeting. "I've never heard such misinformation so acutely spouted off by a Councilmember...and don't forget she was adamant that vinyl windows are mandatory on all houses built on a canyon. How many times did Cathy Winterrowd have to say 'No, that's not true!'"

"Honestly, it was shocking. I couldn't believe my ears or eyes. And I watched her closely, she was turning red, and was really angry and getting angrier by the second."

Soderberg sums up the meeting's results. "The appeal didn't win, but it didn't exactly lose either. The owner was told to work out with the HRB a satisfactory arrangement to resolve some outstanding issues and to come back next month."


nostalgic Sept. 14, 2011 @ 3:48 p.m.

Someone who owns several historic homes didn't know you have to have a permit. That seems odd to me. Didn't her plumber tell her?


SurfPuppy619 Sept. 14, 2011 @ 5:26 p.m.

"In March, the Historical Resources Board designated the board historical."

LOL...so the historical resources board is now "historial".


nostalgic Sept. 14, 2011 @ 8:31 p.m.

The house is historical and the board is historial. There.


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