Historic Preservation Ordinance Coming to Goleta

After years of preparation, the Goleta City Council will consider a Historic Preservation Ordinance on December 7, 2021. The goal is to preserve and protect resources that, once lost, cannot be replaced or replicated. On November 8, the Planning Commission reviewed the ordinance and recommended adoption.

Generally, the proposed ordinance would:

  • Create a Historic Preservation Commission.
  • Create historic designation categories and establish a process to designate properties as a historic resource based on eligibility criteria.
  • Establish regulations and processes regarding alterations to designated properties, recission of designations, demolition, maintenance requirements, and Mills Act incentives to maintain designated historic resources.
  • Designate seven (7) structures as Goleta Landmarks and place a total of 29 structures (including the 7 proposed to be Goleta Landmarks) on the inaugural Historic Resources Inventory (HRI). It is expected that the HRI will be expanded over time.
  • Establish processes and criteria when any earth disturbing activities in native soils (i.e., previous not graded or disturbed soils) are proposed. The purpose is to check for subsurface archaeological or tribal cultural resources in order to preserve and protect these resources. A list of project types and circumstances that would exempt from the requirements s included.
  • Establish development standards that would be imposed on any earth-disturbing activities in case subsurface archaeological or tribal cultural resources are found in the course of construction.
  • Add thirty-four definitions related to Historic Preservation and Archaeological and Tribal Cultural Resources to the Goleta Municipal Code.
  • Make other changes to various portions of the Goleta Municipal Code to reflect the requirements of Chapters 17.33 and 17.43 to facilitate consistency in City regulations.

A Historic Preservation Ordinance, if approved, includes regulations that may affect property owners to some degree, especially property owners of designated Historic Resources. The regulations could potentially affect any property owners that are contemplating making changes that involves earth-disturbing activities (i.e., placement of fence posts, trenching for utilities, digging for new foundations, etc.). The goal of the proposed regulations is to foster preservation while allowing development to occur.

Learn more about the project at www.HistoricGoleta.org. The Planning Commission agenda and recording of the meeting is available at https://cityofgoleta.org/goletameetings. For more information regarding the project, please contact Current Planning Manager Lisa Prasse, at lprasse@cityofgoleta.org.

Pictured: Hollister Arch