Endangered Local Landmarks

EIR DRAFT comments are Requested
for Saving theConnell House : Pebble Beach (Richard Neutra)
see post below

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Connell House 'Draft EIR' Needs Your Comments!

Dear 'Connell House' Supporter,

The  County of Monterey Draft EIR is OUT on the Connell House. An EIR was required for this proposed new residence because of the many impacts the demolition of this historic asset will leave; especially, the negative impacts on the environment—built, natural, and cultural that would be altered forever. This means we have entered critical crossing point on saving this landmark home.

We are asking EACH of YOU to find 10 minutes...
between NOW and 5 pm on Friday, October 12, 2018
to submit your California Environmental Quality Act (CEQAComments.

WHY you might ask?
BECAUSE...you will be providing important support for both preservation efforts and publicly supported principled guidance to the local jurisdiction of the County of Monterey.  

WHERE to send your comments? 
Email original to ceqacomments@co.monterey.ca.us
with a copy to Cheryl Ku, Senior Planner for Monterey County:  kuc@co.monterey.ca.us
and another “cc" to Emily Creel, SWCA Environmental Consultants:  ecreel@swca.com

See additional contact information below for sending your comments by mail

MBM hopes that the county will recognize that it has a roll in following Alternative 1 in the Executive Summary of the DRAFT EIR in favoring the 'the environmentally superior alternative' of saving and restoring the Connell House. This would demonstrate a principled public response to the 'demolition by neglect' incurred to this local historic landmark residence.

That is why YOUR SUPPORT NOW is most critical. 

How the home originally look in 2004...and how it should be restored
It has been a long journey since 2011 when most of the architectural community became aware through public hearings through the Historic Review Board meetings at the County of Monterey to not just alter a cherished local landmark - but, destroy it.

Monterey Bay Modernism (MBM) began its campaign in early 2012 following this news to save this local midcentury residential landmark by the master architect Richard Neutra (1957-58). We sought public support both local and  internationally for saving this revered local residence.Our efforts were answered and submitted with an online campaign that collected hundreds of signatures. But, MBM stepped aside when the Alliance of Monterey Area Preservationists (AMAP) took over the torch in 2013 and lead the charge toward making it eligible as a Historic Landmark
Over these past five years, we've worked together with them to get the Connell House (located at 1170 Signal Hill Road in Pebble Beach) to be listed on the California State Register of Historic Resources. 

It is also noted on the database on the National Register of Historic Places.
Courtesy of https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP 

During this process we backed the direction of AMAP and have continued our support in preventing this now Historic Landmark from being lost to demolition. 

We has supported AMAP's efforts to:
  • make the Monterey Peninsula aware that the Connell House is THE specific example of “International Style” in the Pebble Beach Historic Context Statement.
  • remained alert and vigilant about reporting the home owner’s relentless acts of “demolition by neglect,” over and over again.
We supported AMAP's participation in the long Draft Environmental Impact Report review process by providing the writers with our issues of concern.

MBM is proud of the local efforts and especially, proud of the achievements by AMAP during this long effort to Save the Connell House.

Most of us do not have the time to read an entire DRAFT EIR. They are long and sometimes difficult to understand.

But almost all of us have time to write a brief email or letter in support of the conclusions of this DRAFT EIR.

We stand by Alternative 1 of the The Connell House DRAFT EIR Executive Summary and hope your letter to the county will stand by the primary conclusion of the report.
Courtesy of DRAFT EIR Executive Summery ES-8 / Alternate 1

 Preservation is the environmentally superior alternative."

It should be noted that the Connell House was designed to be  respectful of its natural environs and the neighboring houses. The proposed replacement house - three times larger - is not compatible.
Again, we ask each of you to find 10 minutes between right now and Friday, October 12, by 5 pm, to submit your CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) comments.

Here are the contact names and addresses to use:

with a copy to Cheryl Ku, Senior Planner for Monterey County:  kuc@co.monterey.ca.us
and another “cc" to Emily Creel, SWCA Environmental Consultants:  ecreel@swca.com

Or mail a letter:
Cheryl Ku, Senior Planner, Monterey County
Resource Management Agency — Planning
1441 Schilling Place, 2nd Floor
Salinas, CA 93901
with a “cc” to Emily Creel, SWCA Environmental Consultants, 1422 Monterey Street, C-200, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

MBM has come forward in support of the DRAFT EIR Alternative 1: Preservation, or an alternative allowing some modification or additions in accordance with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, which unfortunately is an option that is not analyzed in this DEIR.

October 12th is the last day that comments can be submitted  to express your concern over the demolition of world-renowned architect Richard Neutra's design by urging Monterey County Planning to take the conclusions of the Draft EIR seriously. 

Request that they support Alternative 1: Preservation, not demolition!

Our collective voices of interest and concern can be the louder "collective hope" helping to prevent the loss of this local landmark residence.

Spread the word by forwarding this email or talking with friends and associates about the value of saving this mid-century landmark…and the tragedy to the Monterey Peninsula’s cultural fabric, forest, and scope of its built environment if this house is lost.

Again, urge preservationnot demolition of the Connell House. 

Thank you, 
Monterey Bay Modernism


(1) Link to the Connell House DRAFT EIR and Proposed Project Description:     

Project Description:
The project consists of the demolition of an existing 4,124 square foot single family residence and the construction of a new three level 11,933 square foot single family residence and associated site improvements including approximately 2,040 cubic yards of grading (1,210 cubic yards cut/830cubic yards fill) and restoration of all remaining undeveloped areas to native dune habitat.

(2) Link to the Alliance of Monterey Area Preservationists’ website:

(3) Contact information for AMAP President Nancy Runyon:
Tel. 831-649-8132, or nancy@nancyrunyon.com

(4) Contact information for Monterey Bay Modernism:

Saturday, August 29, 2015

NEUTRA UPDATE: Mothball is a Must

photo courtesy of david royal - monterey herald
Pebble Beach:
It was almost five years ago when Silicon Valley tech venture capitalist CEO Massy Mehdipour went to the county with what might have seemed like an unremarkable request: demolish an aging, 50-year-old Signal Hill Road house and replace it with her 12,000-square-foot dream home.

click here for full article:

Please consider shooting an email to Jim Johnson, thanking him for this story:  

Monday, February 23, 2015

NEUTRA UPDATE: EIR Comments Needed

When Monday, February 23, at 6:00 pm

What   EIR Scoping Meeting
Where Pebble Beach Community Services District Office 'Conference Room', 
3101 Forest Lake Road, Pebble Beach 93953-2949
Public Support (your voice and/or public presence) to Demonstrate to EIR Writers and County of Monterey that we STAND BY our determination that this local example of Richard Neutra's work is signification to his architectural lexicon and should not be allowed to be demolished by the current owner for new larger home. 
NOTE the three initial potential impacts that have been identified:
1. Impacts from the demolition of a building listed in the California Register of Historical Resources and eligible for listing under the National Register of Historic Places;
2. Impacts from development on the native sand dune environmentally sensitive habitat;
3. Impacts on views from "public viewing area" including along 17-Mile Drive.