What Does Historic-Cultural Monument Status Mean?

Designation as an Historic-Cultural Monument:

  • Recognizes the building, structure, site, or plant life as important to the history of the city, state, or nation;
  • Provides eligibility for the Mills Act program, providing a Historical Property Contract that can result in a property tax reduction;
  • Permits use of the California Historical Building Code;
  • Allows property owners to purchase and display a plaque showing that the property has Historic-Cultural Monument status;
  • Requires Cultural Heritage Commission review for proposed exterior and interior alterations in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, the nationally accepted criteria for evaluating change to historic properties;
  • Allows the Cultural Heritage Commission to object to the issuance of a demolition permit for 180 days, with an additional 180 day extension possible upon approval of the City Council, thereby granting up to 360 days stay of demolition in order to evaluate preservation alternatives;
  • Activates the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) which protects historic buildings from adverse impacts without environmental review (see the State Office of Historic Preservation document on CEQA and historical resources);
  • Entitles Historic-Cultural Monument owners to technical assistance in complying with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties;
  • Fosters civic pride in neighborhoods and business districts and helps develop a sense of place and time.