Dear Mr. Mayor,
When we purchased our house last summer, we discovered that it was part of a tract of land subject to a racist covenant. It seems that Paulina Kirst, who accumulated some Rancho La Cañada land from the Lantermans around 1901, added the covenant when she sold it for development in 1945. This clause of the contract said she or her descendants could reclaim the property if anybody “not of the White or Caucasian race” were to ever live on it.
When the property was subdivided, each of the 130 lots got the same covenant applied to them.
Such covenants are illegal, but we wanted it gone. Neither our Realtor, Escrow nor Title agents knew how to do this, but our County Assessor explained the simple process. There is a state law requiring the County Assessor to provide a form, and perform the change for free.
I call on the City Council to condemn this language, make homeowners in the affected tracts aware of how easy it is to remove this language, and challenge the Realtors, Escrow and Title agents working in the area to provide the County Assessor form as part of every real estate transaction. The form is available from the County Assessor’s office by searching for the Los Angeles County Restrictive Covenant Modification Form or by visiting tinyurl.com/removelaca.