Chapter 17.84
HISTORIC PRESERVATION Revised 6/18

Sections:

17.84.010    Purpose. Revised 6/18

17.84.020    Types of historic resources. Revised 6/18

17.84.030    Architectural historian. Revised 6/18

17.84.040    Adding or removing designated historic resource status. Revised 6/18

17.84.050    Maintenance of potential historic resource list. Revised 6/18

17.84.060    Criteria for designating historic resources. Revised 6/18

17.84.070    Historic alteration permit. Revised 6/18

17.84.080    Demolition of historic resources. Revised 6/18

17.84.090    Historic preservation incentives. Revised 6/18

17.84.010 Purpose. Revised 6/18

This chapter establishes procedures for the classification of historic resources and requirements for alterations to these resources. These provisions are intended to preserve and enhance Capitola’s historic character while maintaining the ability of property owners to reasonably improve and modify historic homes and structures in Capitola. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.84.020 Types of historic resources. Revised 6/18

The zoning code establishes two types of historic resources: designated historic resources and potential historic resources identified in the city’s list of potential historic resources. The city intends for both types of historic resources to be comprised primarily of structures from the pre-World War II era of Capitola’s history.

A. Designated Historic Resources. Designated historic resources include the following:

1. Resources listed on the National Register of Historic Places or determined by the State Historical Resources Commission to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

2. Resources listed on the California Register of Historical Resources or determined by the State Historical Resources Commission to be eligible for listing on the California Register of Historical Resources.

3. A contributing structure within a National Register Historic District (Venetian Court, Six Sisters, Lawn Way, and Old Riverview Districts).

4. Other resources officially designated by the city council as a designated historic resource based on the criteria in Section 17.84.060 (Criteria for designating historic resources).

B. Potential Historic Resource. A potential historic resource is a site, structure, or feature that has previously been identified by the city as potentially historic and is included on a list of potentially historic resources as maintained by the community development department consistent with Section 17.84.050 (Maintenance of potential historic resource list). The purpose of the list of potential historic resources is to maintain an inventory of properties that are potentially historic for use by city staff when reviewing development project applications. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.84.030 Architectural historian. Revised 6/18

A. General.

1. The city of Capitola shall utilize the services of an architectural historian as specified in this chapter to assist with the review of development project applications and to advise on other matters associated with historic preservation in the city of Capitola.

2. The architectural historian must be certified by the state of California as a historic preservation professional and must be familiar with the history and architecture of the city of Capitola.

3. When the services of the architectural historian are needed to assist with a development project application, all costs associated with the architectural historian’s services shall be paid for by the applicant.

B. Role. The architectural historian shall assist the city in the administration and enforcement of this chapter. Specific duties may include:

1. Reviewing applications to add or remove designated historic resource status in accordance with Section 17.84.040 (Adding or removing designated historic resource status).

2. Recommending to the community development director additions or removal of structures from the city’s list of potential historic resources in accordance with Section 17.84.050 (Maintenance of potential historic resource list).

3. Completing DPR523 forms or equivalent documentation to record the historic significance of historic resources.

4. Reviewing historic alteration permit applications, design permit applications, and other applications involving a modification or potential impact to a historic resource.

5. Advising the city on other matters related to historic preservation in the city of Capitola. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.84.040 Adding or removing designated historic resource status. Revised 6/18

A. Initiation. The city council, planning commission, or property owner may request designating a property as a designated historic resource or removing such classification from a property.

B. Application Contents. An application by a property owner shall be on a form designated by the community development department and shall include the following information:

1. Photographs – Subject Property and Context.

a. Photographs of each exterior elevation of all buildings and structures on the site, including retaining walls and fences.

b. Photographs of exterior details (facade materials, porches, columns, cornices, window trim, wall materials, and fence materials).

c. Historic photographs of original structure if available.

2. Physical Condition – Written and Graphic. A detailed written description on the physical condition of the structure with supporting photographs.

3. Property History. A description of the history of the property, if known.

4. Requests to Remove Classification. A property owner may request to remove the designated historic resource status by submitting to the community development department a written request accompanied by a description with photograph documentation explaining the lack of historic significance of the property.

5. Additional Information. Any additional information requested by the community development director necessary to process and evaluate the application.

C. Application Review. The community development director shall review applications for adequacy and completeness under the requirements of this section. The application shall be reviewed by the city’s architectural historian to assess whether the property exhibits characteristics for classification as a designated historic resource described in Section 17.84.060 (Criteria for designating historic resources). If the property exhibits characteristics for classification, the architectural historian will complete a DPR523 or equivalent for the city’s records. A staff report with a recommendation on the approval, approval with conditions, or denial of the application based upon the evaluation of the proposed historic resource classification shall be prepared by the community development department for planning commission consideration.

D. Planning Commission Recommendation. The planning commission shall review a designated historic resource application at a noticed public hearing in compliance with Chapter 17.148 (Public Notice and Hearings) and provide a recommendation to approve, conditionally approve, or deny the application.

E. City Council Action. The city council shall approve, conditionally approve, or deny the application by resolution. The action of the city council is final.

F. Effect of Classification. The classification of a designated historic resource shall run with the land and be binding to subsequent owners of the property. Upon classification, the city shall add the structure to the city’s designated historic resource list. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.84.050 Maintenance of potential historic resource list. Revised 6/18

A. Authority to Maintain. The community development director shall be responsible for maintaining the list of potential historic resources. The director may add or remove structures from the list based on input from an architectural historian.

B. Additions to List. Any structure added to the potential historic resource list shall meet one or more of the criteria in Section 17.84.060(B) (Potential Historic Resource). The property owner shall be notified in writing of a decision to add a property to the list. Decisions of the community development director to add a property to the list may be appealed to the planning commission.

C. Removal of Listed Structures. A property owner may request the removal of a property from the historic structure list by submitting to the community development department a written request accompanied by a description with photograph documentation explaining the lack of historic significance of the property. Decisions of the community development director to maintain a structure on the list despite a request for its removal by the property owner may be appealed to the planning commission. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.84.060 Criteria for designating historic resources. Revised 6/18

A. Designated Historic Resources. Designated historic resources represent particularly noteworthy community resources that exemplify the city’s unique historic identity, primarily from the pre-World War II era of Capitola’s history. Designated historic resources possess iconic landmark status that contribute to Capitola’s unique sense of place due to physical characteristics of the resource visible from a public place. The city council may classify a property as a designated historic resource if it meets any of the following criteria:

1. It exemplifies or reflects special elements of the city’s cultural, social, economic, political, aesthetic, engineering, architectural or natural history.

2. It embodies distinctive characteristics of a style, type, period or method of construction, or is a valuable example of the uses of indigenous materials or craftsmanship.

3. It is an example of a type of building once common in Capitola but now rare.

4. It contributes to the significance of an historic area, being a geographically definable area possessing a concentration of historic or scenic properties or thematically related groupings of properties which contribute to each other and are united aesthetically by plan or physical development.

B. Potential Historic Resource. Based on a recommendation from the city’s architectural historian, the community development director may add a structure to the potential historic resource list if it meets any of the above criteria for classifying a designated historic resource or any of the following criteria:

1. It has a unique location or singular physical characteristic or is a view or vista representing an established and familiar visual feature of a neighborhood, district, or the city.

2. It embodies elements of architectural design, detail, materials or craftsmanship that represent a significant structural or architectural achievement or innovation.

3. It is similar to other distinctive properties, sites, areas or objects based on an historic, cultural or architectural motif.

4. It is one of the few remaining examples in the city, region, state or nation possessing distinguishing characteristics of an architectural or historic type or specimen. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.84.070 Historic alteration permit. Revised 6/18

A. Purpose. A historic alteration permit is an approval required to alter the exterior of a historic resource.

B. Requirement for Designated Historic Resources. A historic alteration permit is required for any exterior alteration to a designated historic resource as defined in Section 17.84.020 (Types of historic resources).

C. Requirement for Potential Historic Resource.

1. When Permit Is Required. A historic alteration permit is required for an alteration to a potential historic resource if:

a. The project requires a discretionary approval (e.g., design permit); and

b. The community development director determines that the project may result in a significant adverse impact of a historic resource as defined in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines Section 15064.5. A structure found not to be historically significant through a historic evaluation does not require a historic alteration permit.

2. Historic Resource Assessment and Consultation. A proposed alteration to a designated historic resource or a potential historic resource that requires a discretionary permit will be reviewed by the city’s architectural historian to assess if the project may result in a significant adverse impact of a historic resource. The community development director shall use this assessment to determine if the findings of approval for the historic alteration permit can be made. Review by the city’s architectural historian is not required for in-kind repairs in accordance with subsection E of this section (Exception for Preservation and In-Kind Rehabilitation).

D. Alteration Defined. As used in this chapter, “alteration” means any exterior change or modification to a structure, cutting or removal of trees and other natural features, disturbance of archeological sites or areas, and the placement or removal of any accessory structures affecting the exterior visual qualities of the property. Painting is not considered an alteration unless painted features are designated as significant or characteristic of a historic resource.

E. Exception for Preservation and In-Kind Rehabilitation. A historic alteration permit is not required for preservation or rehabilitation due to damage to windows, doors, trim, or other similar building elements. The rehabilitation shall be in-kind, matching the original design in size, detail, materials, and function. To qualify for this exception, the applicant must provide evidence of original design and details of the in-kind replacement.

F. Review Authority. The planning commission shall take action on all applications for a historic alteration permit.

G. Application Requirements. Applications for a historic alteration permit shall be filed and reviewed in compliance with Chapter 17.112 (Permit Application and Review). The application shall include the information and materials required by the community development department together with all required application fees.

H. Public Notice and Hearing. The planning commission shall consider applications for a historic alteration permit at a noticed public hearing in compliance with Chapter 17.148 (Public Notice and Hearings).

I. Findings for Approval. The planning commission may approve a historic alteration permit only if all of the following findings can be made:

1. The historic character of a property is retained and preserved. The removal of distinctive materials or alteration of features, spaces, and spatial relationships that characterize the property is avoided.

2. Distinctive materials, features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of fine craftsmanship that characterize a property are preserved.

3. Any new additions complement the historic character of the existing structure. New building components and materials for the addition are similar in scale and size to those of the existing structure.

4. Deteriorated historic features are repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature matches the old in design, color, texture, and, where possible, materials.

5. Archeological resources are protected and preserved in place. If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures are undertaken.

6. The proposed project is consistent with the general plan, any applicable specific plan, the zoning code, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

J. Conditions of Approval. The planning commission may attach conditions of approval to a historic alteration permit to achieve consistency with the general plan, local coastal program, zoning code, and any applicable specific plan or area plan adopted by the city council.

K. Appeals. Decisions on historic alteration permit may be appealed as described in Chapter 17.152 (Appeals). (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.84.080 Demolition of historic resources. Revised 6/18

A. Permit Required. The demolition of a historic resource requires approval of a historic resource demolition permit.

B. Review Authority.

1. The planning commission takes action on historic resource demolition permit applications to demolish a potential historic resource.

2. The planning commission recommends and the city council takes action on historic resource demolition permit applications to demolish a designated historic resource.

C. Application Submittal and Review. Applications for a historic resource demolition permit shall be filed and reviewed in compliance with Chapter 17.112 (Permit Application and Review). The application shall include the information and materials required by the community development department together with all required application fees to the satisfaction of the CDD or planning commission. The city may require third-party review of these materials at the applicant’s expense. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide evidence in support of the findings required by Section 17.84.070(I) (Findings for Approval).

D. Planning Commission Recommendation. For historic resource demolition permit applications to demolish a designated historic resource, the planning commission shall provide a recommendation to the city council on a historic resource demolition permit at a noticed public hearing in compliance with Chapter 17.148 (Public Notice and Hearings). The planning commission shall base its recommendation on the findings specified in subsection F of this section (Findings for Approval).

E. Public Notice and Hearing. The review authority shall review and act on a historic resource demolition permit at a noticed public hearing in compliance with Chapter 17.148 (Public Notice and Hearings).

F. Findings for Approval. To approve a historic resource demolition permit, the review authority shall make one or more of the following findings:

1. The structure must be demolished because it presents an imminent hazard to public health and safety as determined by a licensed structural engineer.

2. The structure proposed for demolition is not structurally sound despite evidence of the applicant’s efforts to rehabilitate and properly maintain the structure.

3. The rehabilitation or reuse of the structure is economically infeasible. Economic infeasibility shall be demonstrated by preparing actual project costs and by comparing the estimated market value of the property in its current condition, after rehabilitation and after demolition.

4. No feasible alternative use of the structure exists that can earn a reasonable economic return.

G. Limitations on Findings of Economic Hardship. The review authority may not approve a historic resource demolition permit if an economic hardship was caused by any of the following:

1. Willful or negligent acts by the applicant.

2. Purchasing the property for substantially more than market value.

3. Failure to perform normal maintenance and repairs.

4. Failure to diligently solicit and retain tenants.

5. Failure to prescribe a rental amount which is reasonable for the current market.

6. Failure to provide normal tenant improvements.

H. Post-Decision Procedures. Post-decision procedures and requirements in Chapter 17.156 (Post-Decision Procedures) shall apply to historic resource demolition permit. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.84.090 Historic preservation incentives. Revised 6/18

A. Mills Act Agreement. Upon request of the owner of a designated historic resource, the city council may elect to enter into a Mills Act Agreement with the owner. See Government Code Section 50280 et seq. The Mills Act Agreement shall run with the land and be binding upon subsequent owners of the designated historic resource. If the city council elects to enter into a Mills Act Agreement, the city shall file the Mills Act Agreement for recording with the county recorder.

B. California Historical Building Code. The California Historical Building Code (Title 24, Part 8) shall apply to all designated historic resources to facilitate the preservation and continuing use of the building while providing reasonable safety for the building’s occupants and access for persons with disabilities.

C. Grant or Loan Priority. The city shall give the highest priority to designated historic resources when distributing grants or loans whose purpose is historic preservation.

D. Permitting Fees. The city council shall waive application and review fees for planning permits required for development projects that preserve, retain, and rehabilitate a historic structure. Planning permit fees shall be waived only for significant rehabilitations of noteworthy historic structures, not for remodels or additions to older homes that would not substantially advance the city’s historic preservation goals. Required third party reviews shall be paid for by the applicant.

E. Modifications to Development Standards. The city council may approve modifications to development standards in the applicable zoning district, such as parking and setbacks, if the modification is necessary to allow for the preservation, rehabilitation, or restoration of a historic resource. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)