Historic Preservation Regulations and Ordinances
Historic Preservation Planning Section
The goals and policies found in the Historic Preservation Element of the City’s General Plan and its Community Plans are implemented through the Historical Resources Regulations of the City’s Municipal Code and Land Development Code.
The purpose of the Historical Resources Regulations is to protect, preserve and, where damaged, restore the historical resources of San Diego. The regulations are intended to assure that development occurs in a manner that protects the overall quality of historical resources. It is further the intent of the regulations to protect the educational, cultural, economic, and general welfare of the public, while employing regulations that are consistent with sound historical preservation principles and the rights of private property owners.
The Historical Resources Guidelines of the Land Development Manual provide property owners, the development community, consultants and the general public with explicit guidelines for the management of historical resources located within the City of San Diego. The City’s Historical Resource Research Report Guidelines and Requirements, Historical Resource Technical Report Guidelines and Requirements, and Guidelines for the Application of Historical Resources Board Designation Criteria are included as appendices to the Historical Resources Guidelines.
The Historic Preservation Planning Section is responsible for the maintenance of the regulations and ordinances related to the City’s Historic Preservation program, as well as the development of new regulations and ordinances that serve the General Plan’s goals to identify and preserve the City’s historical resources.
Current Work Efforts
New Historic Preservation Development Incentives
During the public hearing process for the North Park, Golden Hill and Uptown Community Plan Updates (CPUs) in late 2016, both historic preservationists and members of the development community expressed interest in new development incentives to encourage preservation and continued use or adaptive reuse of designated historic resources. The Planning Department agreed, and committed to including new development incentives for historic preservation as part of the 11th Update to the Land Development Code.
As part of the review process for the 11th Code Update, the proposed amendments to the Historical Resources Regulations will be reviewed by the Policy Subcommittee of the Historical Resources Board, and the Historical Resources Board itself, which will provide a recommendation to the City Council. It is anticipated that this process will occur during the summer and fall of 2017.
First Draft of the Proposed Development Incentives for Historic Preservation
On June 12, 2017 the Planning Department released the first draft of the proposed new development incentives for historic preservation. The draft was reviewed by the Policy Subcommittee of the Historical Resources Board at their meeting on Monday, June 19, 2017. The Policy Subcommittee forwarded the proposed amendments on without revision.
Review by the Historical Resources Board
On September 28, 2017 the Historical Resources Board reviewed the proposed new development incentives for historic preservation and forwarded the proposed amendments on without revision.
- Historical Resources Board Agenda
- Staff Report to the Historical Resources Board (HRB-17-057)
- PowerPoint Presentation
Review by the Planning Commission
On November 30, 2017 the Planning Commission reviewed the proposed new development incentives for historic preservation as part of the 11th Update to the Land Development Code, and forwarded the proposed amendments on without revision.
Review by the City Council
On March 22, 2018, the City Council adopted the 11th Update to the Land Development Code, including the development incentives for historic preservation as reviewed and recommended for approval by the Historical Resources Board and the Planning Commission. The 11th Update became effective in areas outside the coastal zone on April 21, 2018, and should be in effect citywide early summer 2018.
(Updated May 2018)
New Supplemental Regulations for Potential Historic Districts
During the public hearing process for the North Park, Golden Hill and Uptown Community Plan Updates (CPUs) in the late fall of 2016, Planning Department staff proposed new supplemental development regulations for potential historic districts. The regulations were proposed for potential historic districts that were identified in a historic survey and specified by the City Council, and were intended to provide new protections for potential historic districts until they could be intensively surveyed and brought forward to designation.
In response to concern from the community planning groups, the development community, property owners, and the Planning Commission and City Council, the supplemental regulations for potential historic districts were removed from the Community Plan Updates and put on a separate track. The Planning Department committed to working with all stakeholders in the development of the supplemental regulations, and estimated a timeline of approximately 12 to 18 months.
Please check back soon for new information.
(Updated May 2017)