Council Delays Plans for Swanner House, Ranch


Plans to turn the city’s 72-year-old Swanner House into a nature studies center have been delayed.

The South Coast Audubon Society wants to use the city-owned historical house as a headquarters for bird-watching, monthly slide shows and historical tours of the nearby 30-acre Swanner Ranch.

But instead of proceeding with negotiations with the nature group, the City Council this week decided to let other groups have a say in how the house should be used.


“I have some concern about just accepting the first person that comes along . . . without looking at other interested parties,” Councilwoman Carolyn Nash said.

Council members directed the city staff to issue a request for proposals from other interested organizations who may have uses for the old home.

Mayor Wyatt T. Hart and Councilman Gil Jones, who sit on the subcommittee looking at possible uses for the Swanner House and ranch, said they are still hopeful that the city will negotiate with the nature group.

“This sort of use is what the city had in mind,” Jones said. “We have an opportunity to get a good tenant here.”