Santa Paula: Historic Commision Approves Hardison Designation

By Sheryl Hamlin

The Santa Paula Historic Preservation Ordinance specifies the Planning Commission become the Historic Preservation Commission on matters regarding historic preservation.

The Planning Commission/Historic Preservation Commission shall transmit the application and its recommendations to the City Council.

Two items from the May 28, 2019 Planning Commission/Historic Preservation Commission agenda related to planning.

Item 4. Review and Recommend to the City Council for Approval the City Landmark Nomination for the Hardison Property at 1226 Ojai Road

Staff Report

Staff finds that the Hardison house, barn and remainder parcel located at 1226 Ojai Road is eligible to the City’s Historic Register as a Historic Landmark. The Hardison property fulfills the following historic landmark criteria as outlined in the city’s Historic Preservation Ordinance No. 816 Section A. Criteria for Designation of Landmark Nomination:

1) Historical & Cultural Significance

The Hardison House is an important example of an historical regional architecture style relatively scarce and few examples of this architecture remain in the region. The homestead property is representative of the history of Santa Paula as one of the first properties settled and developed in Santa Paula Canyon. In addition, it represents the historical heritage of the region and its ties to the Union Oil Company

2) Historic Architectural & Engineering Significance

The Hardison house has unusual architectural style and structure. Fashioned in the Italianate mode of the Victorian style, the home has unique features including dental molding on roof line, symmetrical windows and a variegated roofline. In addition, the architectural style of the barn is unique for California. As defined in the Phase I & II Resources Report (Wallace Libby Hardison Residence), the barn has Italianate references and is representative of Pennsylvania barn architecture.

3) Neighborhood and Geographic Setting

The Hardison House, barn and remainder property are easily identified, historic critical feature of the community. The site represents one of the remaining farmstead properties of the early settlement of Santa Paula Canyon and the Santa Clara Valley.

Director Mason indicated that there is one change on the site plan for the remainder parcel. The road connecting the house to the barn will be to the west (rear) of the two relocated buildings in order to preserve certain historical elements . All buildings will have water, sewer and electrical. The resolution in the packet was updated as follows: Revised Resolution ATTACHMENT A – RESOLUTION NO. 3798 RECOMMNEDATION FOR HARDISON PROPERTY CITY LANDMARK DESIGNATION (rev1)

Public Comments

Taylor Louden, historic architect, said he was happy to be involved with the project and that William Homes has been responsive. He said that there are degrees of difficulty, such as the interior of the barn, where one option would be plywood siding, which would hide the original rafters, and the other would be steel bracing, which would stabilize the structure and reveal the original architecture. He said it was good not to have relocated the barn, as originally planned because it would no longer maintain “integrity of location”. He also said the accessory structures were well moved and were getting water and electricity. The Farm house, he said, is a testament to the city of Santa Paula and the family. There are some cultural artifacts which some museum might use. He would strongly recommend the designation, adding it was “more than obvious choice for designation”.

Pam Murphy thanked the Santa Paula Conservancy and the San Buenaventura Conservancy for their work. She said that Hardison represented oil and agriculture, all which define Santa Paula. She appreciated William Homes for the creation of the 2.18 acre remainder parcel. And also thanked Director Mason for his help. Now, she said, we are crossing our fingers for a “good buyer”. She hopes to see more designations in the future because “there is so much to be proud of.”

Stephen Schafer from the San Buenaventura Conservancy congratulated the work on the designation and said this was a definite connection to history. He was very supportive of the nomination and suggested the concept /use of the Landmarks Board. He was planning to maintain a watch on the project as he was concerned about the meadow feature, which should not be a detention basin.

Gabriel Zamora, architect and Santa Paula Conservancy, said he was pleased to hear Director Mason’s statement about follow through on the conditions. Many things on the property still need attention. The life of W.L. Hardison is an enduring legacy. He attended the DAC (Design Asasistance Committee) in February 2019 when the farmstead was nominated and walked home thinking of the trove of historic properties in Santa Paula.

Sheryl Hamlin spoke about history, architecture and the farmstead concept.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Dunkel asked it this action protects future development on the remainder parcel. Director Mason said there is a settlement agreement that protects the barn and house, as well as the new resolution. Commissioner Herber moved approval. The motion passed unanimously. The next step will be a presentation to the City Council.

The continuation of the meeting regarding the Historic Preservation Ordinance will be covered in a subsequent article.

To read previous reportage on the Hardison property, click here.

To download the materials and listen to the audio, click here.

For more information on author click sherylhamlin dot com


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