Current Update on Historic Preservation (2012)


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Originally presented by Jennifer Gates, AICP, in July of 2012 during a lunch training session for the Orange County Section of the American Planning Association.

Ms. Gates covers a range of topics in historic preservation, including:
- Components of a successful preservation program.
- Challenges in dealing with the public, commissioners, consultants, and staff.
- Changes in the Mills Act.
- The California Historic Building Code.
- CEQA compliance.

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Current Update on Historic Preservation (2012)

  1. 1. Community Preservation ~ Current Historic Preservation Topics Presented by:Jennifer M. Gates, AICP, California Preservation Foundation, in partnership with National Trust for Historic Preservation American Planning Association, Orange County Chapter Lunch Lecture
  2. 2. Overview What is Historic Preservation Key Components of a successful Preservation Program CEQA compliance California State Historical Building Code Mills Act changes and updates
  3. 3. Why Historic Preservation? “The spirit and direction of the Nation are founded upon and reflected in its historic heritage;” “The historical and cultural foundations of the Nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life and development in order to give a sense of orientation to the American people;” National Historic Preservation Act
  4. 4. Why Historic Preservation? “The preservation of this irreplaceable heritage is in the public interest so that its vital legacy of cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational, economic, and energy benefits will be maintained and enriched for future generations of Americans;” National Historic Preservation Act
  5. 5. Early Preservation EffortsUnited States California 1813 Philadelphia State House  1871 The California Historical (Independence Hall) saved Society was first established. from demolition.  1875 The Society of the 1853 Mount Vernon Ladies Native Sons of the Golden Association formed to save West was organized “to Mount Vernon. perpetuate memories of the 1906 Antiquities Act passed, Days of ’49.” Native Daughters the countrys first national of the Golden West was preservation legislation, founded in 1886. designating national  1889 The Association for monuments on federal land Preservation of Missions was and establishing penalties for founded in Los Angeles. destroying federally owned  1902 Native Sons established sites. a Historic Landmarks Committee to survey state buildings and develop restoration and preservation plans and priorities.
  6. 6. Early Preservation EffortsUnited States California 1916 National Park Service  1915 The State Legislature established. established the Historical 1926 John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Survey Commission begins funding the restoration  1931 The passage of of Williamsburg, Virginia. Assembly Bill 171 authorized 1931 Charleston, South the Department of Natural Carolina establishes its "Old Resources to establish a and Historic District," the California Historical Landmark countrys first designated Registration Program providing historic district. for the designation of privately 1933 Historic American and publicly-owned properties. Buildings Survey (HABS) authorized by President Roosevelt.
  7. 7. Early Preservation EffortsUnited States California 1935 Historic Sites Act passed  1949 The State Legislature by Congress to establish established the Historical historic preservation policy; it Landmarks Advisory "established policy Committee. preserve for public use historic  1972 As a result of the sites, buildings and objects of National Historic Preservation national significance for the Act of 1966, the California inspiration and benefit of the History Preservation Section people of the United States." was established in the 1949 National Trust for Historic Department of Parks and Preservation established. Recreation to administer the 1966 National Historic federal historic preservation Preservation Act program. 1978 Revenue Act  1975 The Office of Historic Preservation was established by the Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation.
  8. 8. National Historic Preservation Act  Established in 1966, last amendment in 2006  Establishes:  Historic Preservation Fund  National Register of Historic Places  Advisory Council on Historic Preservation  Established State Historic Preservation Officers and State Commissions  Established Tribal Historic Preservation Officers  Certified Local Government Program
  9. 9. Office of Historic Preservation Mission - “To preserve and enhance Californias irreplaceable historic heritage as a matter of public interest so that its vital legacy of cultural, educational, recreational, aesthetic, economic, social, and environmental benefits will be maintained and enriched for present and future generations.” State Historic Preservation Officer Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA, LEED AP
  10. 10. California Preservation Foundation Mission - “To provide statewide leadership, advocacy and education to ensure the protection of Californias diverse cultural heritage and historic places.” Field Services Program  In Partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation  To provide on-site technical assistance and direct support to property owners, developers, local officials, local organizations and others with information and tools essential for successful preservation projects and initiatives.
  11. 11. Historic Preservation is Not JustAbout the Past, its about…  Continuity  Places with historic buildings give people a sense of their place in time; understanding that others came before them, living their lives in similar yet different ways, and that others will come after us.
  12. 12. Historic Preservation is Not JustAbout the Past, its about… Community  Places with neighborhoods served by walkable commercial centers foster community interaction and pride, building a sense of belonging.
  13. 13. Historic Preservation is Not JustAbout the Past, its about…  Character  Places that people love and care about do not spring up overnight; they are built over time, giving them a sense of those who came before and developing character that is unlike anywhere else.
  14. 14. Historic Preservation is Not JustAbout the Past, its about… Future  Historic preservation helps keep exciting, viable, interesting places for future generations.
  15. 15. Preservation is… Neighborhoods and Historic Districts
  16. 16. Preservation is… Sustainability"The GreenestBuilding is theOne AlreadyBuilt."
  17. 17. Preservation is… Cultural Diversity
  18. 18. Preservation is… Cultural Landscapes
  19. 19. Preservation is… Properties of the Recent Past
  20. 20. Is Not a Violation of PropertyRights Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York, 1978  U.S. Supreme Court found that communities could protect their historic resources as long as property owners had a reasonable use of their property left open to them and that their property rights were not violated by this action.
  21. 21. ALL PRESERVATION IS LOCAL! Public Sector – National, State, Local  US Dept. of Interior/Advisory Council on Historic Preservation  State Historic Preservation Offices  County or City Preservation/Planning Departments and Commissions Non-Profit Sector – National, State, Local  National Trust for Historic Preservation  California Preservation Foundation  Local Historical Society
  22. 22. Comprehensive PreservationPrograms  Identify Resources  Eligibility Requirements, Survey, Register  Protect Resources  NHPA (Sec 106), State Plan, CEQA, General Plan, Ordinance  Assist with Maintenance & Rehabilitation of Resources (Incentives)  Historic Tax Credits, Mills Act, Zoning Incentives
  23. 23. California Environmental QualityAct (CEQA) Identify potential environmental impacts Reduce potential impacts  Changes to project  Mitigation Transparent process Environmental review is really mediation – looking to balance competing interests
  24. 24. CEQA Compliance  Historical resources are considered part of the environment and a project that may cause a substantial adverse effect on the significance of a historical resource is a project that may have a significant effect on the environment.
  25. 25. CEQA Compliance Public Resources Code Section 21098.1:  Historical resources included in a local register of historical resources, as defined in subsection (k) of Section 5020.1, are presumed to be historically or culturally significant for purposes of this section, unless the preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that the resource is not historically or culturally significant. The fact that a resource is not listed in, or determined to be eligible for listing in, the California Register of Historical Resources, not included in a local register of historical resources, or not deemed significant pursuant to criteria set forth in subdivision (g) of Section 5024.1 shall not preclude a lead agency from determining whether the resource may be an historical resource for purposes of this section.
  26. 26. CEQA Compliance CEQA section 15064.5(b)(1) defines “substantial adverse change” to a historical resource as “physical demolition, destruction, relocation, or alteration of the resource or its immediate surroundings such that the significance of an historical resource would be materially impaired.” Categorical Exemption: Class 31 consists of projects limited to maintenance, repair, stabilization, rehabilitation, restoration, preservation, conservation or reconstruction of historical resources in a manner consistent with the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
  27. 27. CEQA Compliance Mitigation  CEQA requires that all feasible mitigation be undertaken even if the impact is not reduced to below a level of significance  Project follows Secretary of the Interiors Standards  Implements locally adopted mitigation measures  Project redesign to eliminate objectionable or damaging aspects  Relocation if only feasible alternative to demolition o New location compatible with original character and use of the historical resource o Resource retains its eligibility for listing on the California Register  Documentation of an historical resource -- narrative, photographs or architectural drawings o May not reduce impacts to a less than significant level  Make sure mitigation is enforceable – permit conditions, agreements, or other measures
  28. 28. CEQA Compliance Alternatives:  The range of alternatives analyzed in the Draft EIR should include those “that could feasibly accomplish most of the basic objectives of the project and could avoid or substantially lessen one or more of the significant effects.” (CEQA Guideline § 15126.6(c))  Public agencies must “deny approval of a project with significant adverse effects when feasible alternatives or feasible mitigation measures can substantially lessen such effects.” (Sierra Club v. Gilroy City Council (1990) 222 Cal.App.3d 40, 41; see also Public Resources Code § 21002, 21002.1) Local Jurisdictions can approve a Statement of Overriding Conditions for a project which reflects the ultimate balancing of competing public objectives (including environmental, legal, technical, social, and economic factors) that is based on substantial evidence in the record.
  29. 29. Preservation Incentives  California State Historical Building Code  Zoning Incentives (Parking, Transfer of Development Rights)  Historic Tax Credits (can be combined with New Market Tax Credits and Low Income Housing Tax Credits)  Grants: CLG, Preserve America, CDBG, NTHP,  Mills Act
  30. 30. California’s State HistoricalBuilding Code ( SHBC provides alternative building regulations for permitting repairs, alterations and additions necessary for the preservation, rehabilitation, relocation, related construction, change of use, or continued use of a “qualified historical building or structure.” The California Historical Building Code is Part 8 of Title 24 of Californias Code of Regulations. The California Historical Building Code is also published as Chapter 34, Division II of the California Building Code.
  31. 31. SHBC  Listed below are some of the issues the SHBC addresses, all of which facilitate sensitive and cost- effective rehabilitation:  Accessibility - Both ADA and the SHBC make provisions for reasonable levels of equivalency for, and - under special circumstances - exemption from, accessibility mandates.  Seismic/Structural - SHBC governs these issues, permitting design based on real values of archaic materials, and solutions based on engineering principles and judgment rather than on prescriptive formulas.
  32. 32. SHBC  Listed below are some of the issues the SHBC addresses, all of which facilitate sensitive and cost- effective rehabilitation:  Energy - Qualified historic buildings are exempt from California energy standards, which most vintage structures cannot meet without alteration or loss of historic features.  Triggers - The "triggers" for full upgrading to current standards, with respect to length of vacancy, change of occupancy, or percentage of value of the work proposed, and which exist in other codes, are not recognized by the SHBC, which concentrates instead on the sensitive resolution of genuine safety considerations.
  33. 33. SHBC California law (H&S 18959) requires that the jurisdiction "administer and enforce" the SHBC. Thus, jurisdictions may not deny an owner the protection of the SHBC; but rather should inform owners and agents of historic properties of the provisions of the SHBC, and its applicability to their project, just as they routinely inform owners of the applicable codes with respect to non-historic buildings. "New work" within an historic property is routinely expected to conform to the requirements of current codes and regulations. However, that new work is also governed by the SHBC, so that whenever the historic character or the historic geometry interface with new work, the new work is expected to accommodate existing historic conditions.
  34. 34. Mills Act  A Program Tailored to Your Community, CA Government Code 50280  “…the legislative body of a city, county, or city and county may contract with the owner or agent to restrict the use of the property in a manner which the legislative body deems reasonable to carry out the purposes of this article…”
  35. 35. A Program Tailored to YourCommunity Over 80 communities participate in the Mills Act program Number of properties per program range from 0 to over 400 Most programs were established in the 1990s Some programs have been amended to meet current needs or limitations
  36. 36. Mills Act Overview An economic incentive to encourage preservation of historic properties by reducing property taxes. Local Governments establish a program based on their communities’ priorities. A voluntary program. A contract between the local jurisdiction and the owner of a designated historic property. Can be used by properties that are “qualified historical properties” and that are subject to property taxes. Includes a commitment to preserve and maintain the property for a minimum period of ten years, renewed annually. Assessment is based on the Income Capitalization Method.
  37. 37. Mills Act Changes- January 2012 This bill would instead require these contracts, where applicable, to include an inspection of the interior and exterior of the premises by the city, county, or city and county prior to a new agreement, and every 5 years thereafter. This bill would delete from the list of required contract provisions the requirement that the owner notify the Office of Historic Preservation, and would instead require that the contract include a provision that requires the owner to record the contract with the county in which the property is located.
  38. 38. Processes and contracts What is outlined in the Contract? (per Code)  10 year term, renewed annually  The preservation, restoration, and/or rehabilitation, when necessary, of the qualified historical property.  Inspections every five years and periodic examinations of the interior and exterior.  The contract stays with the property when transferred.
  39. 39. Restrictions and clauses What is outlined in the Contract?  Property Description  Terms for cancellation (per Code)  Notice of non-renewal (per Code)  Additional clauses???  List of improvements  Maintenance requirements
  40. 40. Penalties for non-compliance CA Government Code 50286-7  Legislative body may cancel a contract if it determines that the owner has:  Breached any of the conditions of the contract;  Allowed the property to deteriorate so that is no longer a qualified historical property; or  Failed to restore or rehabilitate the property in the manner specified in the contract. “If a contract is canceled the owner shall pay a cancellation fee equal to 12 1/2 percent of the current fair market value of the property…” As an alternative to cancellation of the contract for breach of any condition, the county, city, or any landowner may bring any action in court necessary to enforce a contract including, but not limited to, an action to enforce the contract by specific performance or injunction.
  41. 41. Upcoming Events & Education Preservation Design  Webinars Awards- Los Angeles  Section 106: October 13 Consultation Process July 24 Workshops  SHBC: Fire and Life  CEQA- San Francisco Safety September 12 August 14  Disaster Planning- SoCal  SHBC: ADA and Historic November Buildings August 28  SHBC: Cultural and Landscapes and the Building Code September 11
  42. 42. 2013 California PreservationConference  May 1-3, 2013  Anaheim Crowne Plaza Resort  Tracks:  Modern Resources  New Preservationists & Diversity  Economic Development & Heritage Tourism  Technical
  43. 43. Contact Information Jennifer M. Gates, AICP Field Services Director California Preservation FoundationIn partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation 5 Third Street, Suite 424 San Francisco, Ca 94103 T: 415-495-0349 ext. 204 F: 415-495-0265 Email: