Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force

Historic Wintersburg Photo Gallery © Copyrighted image.

The Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force is a "Community Group" with "Citizen Members not appointed by the City Council" and dedicated to pursuing the historic preservation alternatives for the Historic Wintersburg property (Warner-Nichols) which includes the Furuta goldfish and flower farm and Wintersburg Japanese Mission. The City Council members serving as liaisons to the community group in 2019 are Council Member Jill Hardy and Council Member Kim Carr, huntingtonbeachca.gov/files/users/city_clerk/2019_Council_Liaison_List_.pdf

The property and its six structures are designated in the City of Huntington Beach General Plan as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Historic Wintersburg was named one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2014, designated a National Treasure in 2015 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, D.C., and in 2017 named as one of Orange County's Most Endangered Historic Places, https://www.preserveorangecounty.org/endangered-places/2017/9/21/historic-wintersburg

The Historic Wintersburg property is located at the southeast corner of Warner (once Wintersburg) Avenue and Nichols Lane. The five-acre property includes the 1912 home of Charles Mitsuji and Yukiko Furuta, as well as the Furuta barn (circa 1908-1912); the Wintersburg Japanese Mission (1909-1910); the Manse ( clergy member home, 1910); and the Wintersburg Japanese Church (1934).

This property is a rare, extant Japanese American pioneer settlement and is the sole remaining parcel in Huntington Beach owned by a Japanese immigrant family prior to the California Alien Land Law of 1913 (overturned in 1956). The U.S. National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation also have noted the property as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Charles M. and Yukiko Furuta in front of their Wintersburg home, circa 1912
Click on photo above to enlarge
Charles M. and Yukiko Furuta in front of their
Wintersburg home, circa 1912 © Copyrighted image.

The Historic Wintersburg structures were proposed for demolition by the previous property owner, Rainbow Environmental Services, aka Rainbow Disposal, and remain endangered. In 2013, the City Council and the then-property owner, Rainbow Environmental Services, agreed to provide an 18-month window to allow the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force time to raise funds to either 1) buy the property should the property owner agree, or 2) move the structures to a new location. After the certification by the Huntington Beach City Council in November 2013 of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) regarding the rezoning and demolition of all six structures, the Ocean View School District filed a lawsuit which, among other restrictions, blocked any actions on the Historic Wintersburg property. Republic Services purchased Rainbow Disposal and its properties in late 2014, which presented new circumstances.

Wintersburg Japanese Presbyterian Mission, 1910
Click on photo above to enlarge
Wintersburg Japanese Presbyterian Mission, 1910 © Copyrighted image.
 

The settlement of the three-year litigation by the Ocean View School District with the new owner, Republic Services, includes permanent restrictions on development of the Historic Wintersburg property, as well as provisos regarding the sale of the property. Settlement of this litigation allowed negotiations to acquire and preserve the property to restart in early 2017. The Ocean View School District has stated they support full preservation as a heritage park. Republic Services has indicated they plan no development and are open to the purchase of the property for historic preservation purposes.

Any changes to the Historic Wintersburg property, including demolition of or relocation of the historic structures, will trigger a review by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force is partnered with two national organizations, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Trust for Public Land, and its preservation also is supported by organizations such as the Japanese American National Museum and Japanese American Citizens League.

During 2018, sub committees of the Task Force managed property acquisition discussions and community outreach. The City of Huntington Beach Historic Resources Board held a special meeting focused on Historic Wintersburg on February 7, 2018, https://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/government/boards_commissions/pdf-files/Historic-Resources-Board-Minutes-February-7-2018-Special-Meeting.pdf. As of 2019, the ongoing discussions with Republic Services are to purchase the property for preservation as a historic site and community public park.

LEARN MORE about Historic Wintersburg and its preservation project at the facebook page

LEARN MORE More information regarding the history and the chronology of the preservation effort can be found on the Wikipedia page for Historic Wintersburg and on the web page for Historic Wintersburg with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, https://savingplaces.org/places/historic-wintersburg#.XHW6mbh7mM9

City staff liaison: Ricky Ramos, [email protected]


Agendas and Minutes

Meeting Date Agenda Minutes Attachments
Meeting Date Agenda Minutes Attachments
October 26, 2017 Agenda
September 28, 2017 Agenda Minutes
August 24, 2017 Agenda Minutes
July 20, 2017 Agenda Minutes
June 15, 2017 Agenda Minutes
May 18, 2017 Agenda Minutes
Meeting Date Agenda Minutes Attachments
September 27, 2016 Agenda Minutes
Meeting Date Agenda Minutes Attachments
November 10, 2015 Agenda Minutes
July 30, 2015 Agenda
April 2, 2015 Agenda Minutes
January 14, 2015 Agenda Minutes
Meeting Date Agenda Minutes Attachments
November 19, 2014 Agenda Minutes
February 25, 2014 Agenda Minutes
Meeting Date Agenda Minutes Attachments
December 11, 2013 Agenda Minutes
October 2, 2013 Agenda Minutes
August 23, 2013 Agenda Minutes
July 26, 2013 Agenda Minutes
June 28, 2013 Agenda Minutes
May 31, 2013 Agenda Minutes
May 31, 2013 Agenda Minutes
March 22, 2013 Agenda Minutes
February 22, 2013 Agenda Minutes
January 28, 2013 Agenda Minutes
Meeting Date Agenda Minutes Attachments
November 5, 2012 Agenda Minutes
October 15, 2012 Agenda Minutes
September 17, 2012 Agenda Minutes



Did you know?


Zoning Administrator meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month. Meeting Agendas, Action Agendas, and Minutes are available to view online.

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