Show All Answers
A historic resource is a building, structure, object, site, landscape, or a related grouping or collection of these (district) that is significant in history, architecture, archeology, engineering, or culture. The National Register of Historic Places (referred to as the National Register) is the nation's official list of buildings, structures, objects, sites, and districts worthy of preservation. The California Register of Historical Resources (referred to as the California Register) is the authoritative guide to the state's significant historic and archeological resources.
For information about historic resources within the City of San Mateo, please visit www.cityofsanmateo.org/Planning. Select Planning Resource Documents, followed by Historic Resources Information.
Listing in the National Register provides formal recognition of a property or district’s historical, architectural, or archeological significance. Generally, properties eligible for listing in the National Register are at least 50 years old and must meet at least one of the following criteria:
The National Register listing process typically includes submittal of a nomination to the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) for review and determination for listing by the State Historical Resources Commission (SHRC). Properties listed in the National Register are automatically listed in the California Register; however, properties may be listed in the California Register without being listed in the National Register. To be eligible for listing in the California register, a resource must be significant at the national, state, or local level and meet at least one of the following criteria:
The California Register listing process typically includes submittal of a nomination to the Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) for review and determination by the SHRC.
A property or properties can be deemed eligible for either the National Register or California Register if the applicable criteria outlined above are met. Properties can be deemed eligible for either register through an evaluation by a qualified architectural historian and can be listed with property owner consent for an individual resource, or consent from a majority of property owners for a district through the nomination process described above.
A historic resource, irrespective of whether it is eligible or listed, is subject to review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) should it be impacted as a result of a physical change in the environment.
Determination of eligibility or listing for the National Register or California Register results in legal protections for the property or district. For example, environmental review may be required under CEQA if a project may cause a substantial adverse change to historic resources through demolition or alteration. Also, certain state laws, such as Senate Bill (SB) 9, do not apply to historic properties or districts. The Mills Act allows property owners to pursue tax incentives for listed resources through a contract with the City to reduce property taxes in exchange for agreeing to rehabilitate their historic resource. Lastly, historic resources are subject to additional codes including the City’s Historic Preservation Ordinance (Municipal Code Section 27.66), the California Historical Building Code, and the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
During the listing process, the state notifies affected property owners and local governments and solicits public comment. If the owner (or a majority of owners for a district nomination) objects, the property cannot be listed but would still be considered eligible. Property owner contact information must also be submitted with a nomination.
Separately, the City’s General Plan Update for 2040 includes goals, objectives, policies, and action items regarding historic resources outlined in the Community Design and Historic Resources Element. The Draft General Plan is currently published for public review and comments; with anticipated adoption hearing dates in early 2024. Please review the Draft General Plan and provide comments by visiting www.strivesanmateo.org.