The Zoning Code includes a Historic Resource Evaluation process that allows applicants to request an evaluation to determine if their property is eligible for designation as a historic resource. If a property owner proposes to undertake a major project as defined in the Zoning Code to a property that is over 45 years of age, a Historic Resources Evaluation will be required to determine if the property is eligible for designation as an individual historic resource.
A historic resources survey is a type of project that the City may conduct to identify and evaluate historic resources within a particular geographic area or based on a particular type of resource (i.e. multifamily housing, specific architectural styles, etc.). Historic resources include buildings, districts, structures (e.g., bridges), objects (e.g., signs and street lights), and sites (e.g., historic parks).
A historic resource may be of significance in American history, prehistory, architecture, engineering, or culture—and may be nationally significant or significant to the state, region, or local community.
If a property is included in a historic resources survey, a preliminary determination has been made as to its historic significance; however, review procedures for demolitions or alterations follow similar procedures as potentially significant properties that have not been included in a historic resources survey. These procedures are outlined in the city’s Zoning Code. Survey findings inform long-range planning efforts and project reviews, support policy goals, and help City officials, property owners and others make informed planning and land use decisions.
To determine if your property has been included in a historic resources survey, you can search the city’s online database of historic resources. If your property is listed in the database and you would like to know whether it has been determined to be historically significant or for more information regarding historic preservation, contact the Design & Historic Preservation Section at DHPquestions@cityofpasadena.net or 626-744-4009.
What does it mean if a property is included in a historic resources survey?
The inclusion of a property in a historic resources survey does not trigger any additional regulations. Some properties identified in the survey are subject to existing regulations, but these regulations are applicable regardless of inclusion in the survey. Additional regulations for historic resources could be developed as part of a specific plan.
What existing regulations apply to historic resources?
- The Historic Preservation Commission or city staff reviews exterior alterations and additions, relocations, and demolitions of designated landmarks, buildings within designated landmark districts, properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and works of the architects Greene and Greene.
- The Historic Preservation Commission reviews demolitions of properties determined eligible for individual historical designation through the Historic Resource Evaluation process or in a historic resources survey as well as properties identified in a historic resources survey as contributing properties to a historic district that is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
- City staff reviews major alterations of properties determined eligible for individual historical designation through the Historic Resource Evaluation process or in a historic resources survey as well as properties identified in a historic resources survey as contributing properties to a historic district that is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
- The Design Commission reviews exterior alterations and new construction of all buildings, including historic buildings, in the Central District and certain other zoning districts.
- The State Historical Building Code (SHBC) is an alternative building code which provides a flexible approach to meet code provisions in historic buildings.
- Historic resources are protected under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). CEQA is a State-mandated environmental review required for all projects subject to discretionary approval by the City (e.g., conditional use permits, variances, and design review). Under this review, local governments are required to mitigate adverse impacts to historic resources.
- Historic resources are also protected under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and Section 106, a federal process which requires that adverse impacts to historic resources be considered in federally-sponsored or federally-funded projects (e.g., a federal highway project or CDBG funds).
- Income-producing properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places are eligible for a 20% federal tax credit for certified rehabilitation’s.
The General Plan commits the City to protect its architectural, historical, and cultural heritage and to ensure that change will be harmonized to preserve the City’s historic character and environment.