To understand the process for potentially historical sites, it is important to know how designated historical sites are treated. Projects affecting designated sites need to meet the City's historical resources regulations. If a project may have adverse impacts on a historical resource, a Site Development Permit for historical purposes is required in accordance with San Diego Municipal Code Section 126.0502(d)(E). Special findings in Section 126.0504 of the previous link need to be made in order for such a Site Development Permit to be approved. In some cases, a project may be designed in a way to avoid impacts on the potential historical resource, and the project may be able to obtain a Site Development Permit exemption in accordance with San Diego Municipal Code Section 143.0220. A project can obtain an exemption from the Site Development Permit, as long as the alterations are not defined as substantial alterations (e.g. relocation, major alteration or demolition - see Section 143.0250 in the previous link), by meeting the Secretary of the Interior's Standards.
As an extension of these rules, a site that has a potential historical resource can avoid a designation, and consequently a Site Development Permit for historical purposes, if the project meets the Secretary of the Interior's Standards. To obtain input from the Historical Resources Board staff, see the section on our staff assistance procedure. You may also apply to the Development Services Department for a Single Discipline Preliminary Review (Information Bulletin 513) to obtain early input on whether or not your project meets the Secretary of the Interior's Standards.