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Historic Resources Survey

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Historic Resources Survey and Inventory of Addresses Survey Update

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The current Inventory was first adopted by the City Council on November 30, 1994. The Inventory includes properties that were determined eligible for Federal, State, or local listing. It also includes the properties that are formally designated on the State, National, and local registers. The main purpose of an inventory is to ensure that all the City’s historic resources are recognized in future planning processes. In 2002, the Inventory was updated through a reconnaissance-level survey identifying the general distribution of buildings, structures, and neighborhoods that represent different architectural styles, periods, and modes of construction.

According to HRG’s study, the updated Inventory would include 2,718 properties that are both individually eligible resources and contributors to historic districts[1].  This includes the recently identified properties from the mid-century modern era.

There are 10 designated Historic Districts, 30 Potential Historic Districts, and a recommendation to establish four (4) Preservation Planning Districts.  An additional 36 Potential Districts, along with their original status codes, will be carried forward from the previous 2002 survey without re-evaluation at this time[1].  

HRG is recommending that 33 addresses be removed from the Inventory.  Attachment 2 is the list of properties and the various reasons for their removal. 

The Survey Results are linked below:

HRG Survey Report
Including: Guidelines for Evaluation, Survey Methodology, Survey Results (Individually Eligible Historic Resources and Historic Districts), Recommendations, and Glossary of Terms.

Complete Updated Inventory of Cultural Resources

Lists of Properties Added to the Inventory, including:

  • Contributor Properties – Proposed 1940’s Courtyard District
  • Contributor Properties – Proposed Raymond Hill Apartments District
  • Individual Properties – Mid-Century Modern Era (1935-1972)
DPR Record Forms
The DPR Form includes additional information about the historic resources and recorded on the California State Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) survey forms.

For more information about the survey, please contact:
Planning and Building Department at (626) 403-7220

Public Forum: Historic Resources Survey and Inventory of Addresses Survey Update
There will be a Public Forum to learn more about the updated Inventory and what that means for properties being added to it. This will also be an opportunity for property owners to dispute the findings of the Survey. If an owner believes that a property doesn’t qualify as a historic resource, this Public Forum will allow one to present information to the CHC that supports this position. The information should include current photos of the property, building permits, previous plans that have affected the exterior, or any other documentation to show that a property lacks historic merit.

Date: Thursday, October 12, 2017;
Time: 6:30 PM; and
Place: 1424 Mission Street (Council Chambers)

Frequently Asked Questions

Who prepared the historic resources survey?

The City hired a consulting firm, Historic Resources Group (HRG), to prepare the survey. HRG was selected for their vast experience with survey work throughout Southern California, including the City of Los Angeles’s innovative historic resources survey known as SurveyLA and numerous other surveys. HRG’s personnel meet the appropriate professional qualifications standards established by the Federal Government.

How does a property get added to the survey?
The list of mid-century modern properties was based on the results of research, including building permits, a reconnaissance survey, and the contexts and themes described in the City’s 2014 Historic Context Statement. A property is eligible for listing if it has kept its original location, design, workmanship, materials, setting, feeling, and association. These factors reflect a property’s association with development during certain periods of the City’s history. A property that has lost some original features can still be eligible if a majority of them still show its original style in terms of the massing, spatial relationships, proportion, pattern of windows and doors, texture of materials, and ornamentation. A property is not eligible if it lost a majority of the features that once characterized its style.

Can you remodel a home or building that is listed on the Inventory?
The review process for a parcel that is either on the Inventory or not is essentially the same. Before an owner is permitted to demolish, remove, relocate or alter any portion of a historic structure, the owner must obtain approval from the CHC. This review process is very similar for the owners of non-historic buildings who must obtain approval from the Design Review Board for any exterior construction or modification. In considering the approval of an alteration, the CHC considers whether the proposed changes would affect the property’s historic status.

Are there any added restrictions for maintaining a property listed on the Historic Inventory?
Alterations to the outside of a historic property require CHC approval; however, CHC review is not required for such projects as: house painting, routine maintenance which does not require a building permit, landscaping (including sprinkler system work), flat concrete work, all changes which are entirely interior and do not affect the exterior of the building.

All parcel owners in the City of South Pasadena have a duty to maintain their properties in good condition. Any parcel that shows signs of deterioration or disrepair may be considered a public nuisance as described in SPMC Section 24.02. In the Cultural Heritage portion of the Municipal code, Section 2.67(E) provides that “all Landmarks, buildings, structures or Improvements within a Historic District, or listed on the Inventory of Cultural Resources shall be preserved against decay and deterioration and shall be free from structural defects through prompt corrections...” This provision does not provide any higher standard of maintenance in historic districts than what is already required of all properties in the City, under the aforementioned Section 24.02. A public nuisance on any parcel in the City, whether listed on the Inventory or not, will be the subject of property maintenance enforcement.

How does the Inventory benefit property owners?

The Inventory helps property owners save an important step in the City’s review process for a construction or development project. Properties that are over 45 years old are generally considered historic because ample time has passed allowing a scholarly perspective on their fit within the patterns of historic events and trends. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires that Cities make certain that a construction project will not have a significant impact on historic resources prior to approval. Without the Inventory, owners of properties over 45 years old would need to pay for the necessary information used to determine whether a property is considered historic. A project can be exempted from CEQA provided a Certificate of Appropriateness is obtained from the CHC.