Historic Preservation Ordinance Coming to Goleta
Source: City of Goleta
After years of preparation, the Goleta City Council will consider a Historic Preservation Ordinance at its December 7, 2021, meeting. 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 be exempt from the requirements is included.
- Establish development standards that would apply to earth-disturbing activities in case subsurface archaeological or tribal cultural resources are found during 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 for consistency in City regulations.
The proposed Historic Preservation Ordinance includes regulations that may affect some property owners, especially property owners of designated Historic Resources. The regulations could potentially affect any property owners who are contemplating work involving earth-disturbing activities (i.e., trenching for utilities, digging for new foundations, etc.). The goal of the proposed regulations is to foster preservation while allowing development to occur.
In recommending adoption of the ordinance, the Planning Commission sought to balance the need to protect sensitive, buried archaeological and cultural resources with the burden on property owners. It considered this issue carefully with input from a range of stakeholders, including Goleta residents, archaeologists and historians, and Chumash Tribal representatives. To that end, Section 17.43.020(A) of the draft ordinance includes a list of eight categories of exempt activities that do not require permits or site assessment. For example, disturbance of up to 4 cubic feet of native soil (soil that has not been previously disturbed in the past), which could be for planting a tree, moving a fence post, etc., would generally be considered exempt and the requirements for additional studies would not be triggered.
Learn more about the project at www.HistoricGoleta.org. The staff report for this item can be viewed now at https://tinyurl.com/2pw8smn4. The City Council agenda will be available prior to the meeting at https://cityofgoleta.org/goletameetings. The November 8 Planning Commission agenda and recording of the meeting are also available here. For more information regarding the project, please contact Current Planning Manager Lisa Prasse, at firstname.lastname@example.org.