2012-13 HISTORIC PRESERVATION PROGRAM UPDATE
Historic Property Zoning Incentives Ordinance
On November 27, 2012, the City Council initially adopted the historic property zoning incentives ordinance (Ordinance No. 2012-19). It is scheduled for final adoption December 11, 2012. These zoning incentives will be available for use by City-listed historic properties. As called for in the 2030 City General Plan, the ordinance amendments expand existing zoning variations allowed for buildings and properties either individually listed or contributing buildings located within historic districts. The ordinance is intended to benefit existing listed properties, and to create valuable incentives so that Volume III Survey property owners will want to be listed to be eligible to use them.
The ordinance allows Variations to Development Standards which include provisions for larger accessory dwelling units, a 15-percent parking bonus, and waiver of the covered parking, front yard parking and tandem parking requirements. The ordinance also allows Variations to Uses for limited allowances for multi-family residential uses in R-1 (single-family residential) zones, offices in residential zones near commercially-zoned properties, expansion of non-conforming single-family homes in RL and RM zone districts, and expansion of other non-conforming structures and uses.
The Findings section of the ordinance requires findings to assure that project utilizing the various incentives also involve the preservation, maintenance and rehabilitation of a historic building; result in a project which is compatible with the neighborhood; and do not result in detrimental traffic or parking impacts.
Historic Building Survey - Draft Volume III
The City Planning and Community Development Department has recently completed the Draft Volume III City Historic Building Survey. Properties have been studied and determined eligible for inclusion in the Volume III Survey and on the City’s Historic Building List. Property owners may choose to opt out of being included on the Historic Building List. If a property is officially listed, its owner will be eligible to benefit from special zoning incentives for historic properties.
Two public workshops regarding these materials will be held December 12, 2012, and January 9, 2013, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Police Department Community Room, 55 Center Street, Santa Cruz.
The Planning staff contacts for this project are Don Lauritson (420-5117; email@example.com) and Janice Lum (420-5196; firstname.lastname@example.org). Please contact Don or Janice if you have questions or would like to arrange an individual appointment. Please note that City Offices will be closed from December 24, 2012 until January 7, 2013.
To view the following materials related to the ordinance, Survey, and hearing process, click here.
1. Descriptive Background Brochure describing the zoning incentives, the Volume III Survey, and the Survey review and adoption process;
2. Draft Volume III Historic Building Survey describing the planning background, focused historic themes, property descriptions, proposed lists of various type historic properties, and an architectural style glossary.
3. Historic Property Zoning Incentives Ordinance.
What is the background of historic preservation in the City of Santa Cruz?
As a result of the City’s Historic Preservation Plan, adopted in 1974 as an element of the General Plan, the Historic Preservation Commission and the Historic Preservation Ordinance were established to protect the City’s historic and architectural resources.
The City commissioned Volume I of the Historic Building Survey in 1976 to identify and evaluate historic and architecturally significant structures deserving protection. The survey, conducted by the firm of Charles Hall Page and Associates identified 306 properties drawing primarily from John Chase’s Sidewalk Companion to Santa Cruz Architecture, which was first published in 1975. Volume I of the survey covered architectural development in the City from approximately 1850 to 1930.
Criteria for inclusion in the survey were a variation of the Kalman Methodology, a numerical ranking system that evaluated historical significance, architectural significance, importance to the neighborhood, original design, neighborhood setting, and physical condition. All properties in the 1976 survey were officially listed and protected under the City historic preservation policies and regulations.
In 1989, Volume II of the Historic Building Survey was produced with selections and research provided by John Chase’s Sidewalk Companion. This volume catalogues a total of 247 additional structures from three categories. These include: significant buildings from 1930 to 1950, important structures not included in the first survey, and significant vernacular buildings from 1850 to 1910 which comprise approximately one half of the structures in Volume II. Neighborhood context was emphasized in Volume II, with a focus on contiguous rows of historic buildings. More than 90% of properties in Volume II of the Survey have been listed officially.
What are the City's historic designation types?
The City of Santa Cruz presently has four types of historic designations:
- Historic Landmarks: Buildings of greatest significance in architecture or history, 26 are presently listed on the current City Historic Building Survey;
- Historic Resources: Buildings that add to the historic context of the City, listed on the City Historic Building Survey;
- Historic Districts: Buildings located in delineated areas of the City that share a similar architectural or historic theme. Districts are listed on the City Historic Building Survey;
- Neighborhood Conservation Areas: Delineated areas of the City that contains historic buildings that do not necessarily share a common historic theme or similar architecture which need a minimum amount of protection under the Zoning Ordinance. Such areas are not yet listed on the Historic Building Survey; however, some individual buildings within a conservation district may be listed.
What is the most recent City publication on historic preservation?
In October 2000, an Historic Context Statement Report was completed. The Context Statement provides a good background and identifies related property types which evolved with the City’s historical past.