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Committee to submit Osuna adobe for historic designation

RANCHO SANTA FE — The Osuna Ranch Committee asked for approval from the Association to submit an application to have the historic adobe considered for placement on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Senior Planner Kirk Dakan, speaking on behalf of the committee, gave a presentation to the board at its May 3 meeting.

“In the past, questions have been raised regarding the advisability of having the Osuna adobe listed on the National Register. At issue are the perceived advantages of such a designation versus any resulting obligation,” Dakan said.

After an investigation by staff, it has been determined there seem to be no strings attached to simply apply for and receive the designation, he said.

“There is no fee for application or approval,” he said. “There would be no restrictions on the use, treatment, transfer or disposition or requirements resulting from an inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.”

He said restrictions would only result from the Association accepting monies for the Osuna that came with restrictions such as grant money.

“The upside is that there are no fees, no obligation, no requirements,” he said. “There does not seem to be a downside.”

“Basically, it is an honorarium that says yes, it does have national historical significance,” he said.

Jack Queen, board president, said while the Covenant itself has historical significance, making the Osuna official would be good.

“It just puts a stamp on a property that it has some importance,” Queen said.

Dakan said there is no requirement for properties listed on the national register to be open to the public and registration does not restrict revisions to the structure nor does it require special construction practices.

But, he said, any changes to the structure would require the approval of the county and that any rehabilitation of the adobe would have to follow the secretary of the interior’s construction practices.

There would be few tax advantages.

Tax investment credits apply to income-producing historic structures, but tax deductions would be available for charitable contributions for preservation purposes.

“A group such as the Amigos de Osuna might be able to take advantage of this, however, any gifts to the Osuna made through the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation are already eligible for tax deductions,” he said.

Because the Osuna is not open to the public, it would not likely be considered for very scarce grant funds, but the grants could come with obligations and restrictions, he said.

“It takes between six months to a year for the entire process,” Dakan said.

The Association approved the application for the designation.