Historic Preservation

Local Historic Register and Mills Act

Currently, planning staff is only accepting applications for both the local historic register and Mills Act after the completion of a required site visit/inspection. Before an application is accepted and considered, staff must conduct a site visit, determine historic eligibility, and confirm there is no unpermitted work on the property. Please note that there is a non-refundable fee required to begin the process. Any applications submitted prior to the require site visit will not be accepted and will be returned. Please reach out to HistoricPreservation@santa-ana.org to begin the site inspection process.

Please note that the final deadline to submit applications for consideration of a Mills Act contract is July 15, 2024, in order to be included in the agenda for the September 5, 2024, Historic Resources Commission (HRC) hearing. This will be the last HRC hearing that considers Mills Act contract applications for the 2024 calendar year. All Mills Act contracts that are approved in 2024 will not see a reduction in property taxes until the following year, in 2025. For local register listing applications only (those that are not applying simultaneous with a Mills Act contract application), the final deadline to submit applications is September 16, 2024, in order to be included in the agenda for the November 7, 2024 HRC hearing.

For additional information regarding the local historic register and Mills Act contract, see the dropdown menus below titled Historic Property Applications and Historic Preservation Initiatives.

If you have any questions, please contact HistoricPreservation@santa-ana.org

Nominations for City of Santa Ana Historic Preservation Awards 2024 Now Open!

The City of Santa Ana is soliciting nominations for the recognition of outstanding historic preservation and rehabilitation projects. To be considered, the project must satisfy the following criteria:

  • The property must be located within the City and included on the Local, State or National Register of Historic Places.
  • The project must have been completed between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2023 .
  • The property owner must have required City permits and approvals.
  • All projects must meet the intent of the Secretary of the interior Standards for Rehabilitation.

Deadline for nominations is Friday, August 9, 2024 at 4:00 p.m.                                                                                                                                           

How to Submit:

Nomination forms and required photos will only be accepted electronically. Submissions can be emailed to HistoricPreservation@santa-ana.org or submitted via a USB/Flash drive to be submitted in-person at the Planning Counter located:

City Hall—Ross Annex

20 Civic Center Drive

Santa Ana, CA 92701

Download Forms: 

2024 Historic Preservation Awards Flyer 

Historic Preservation Award Categories and Criteria

Historic Preservation Award Nomination Form

If you have any questions, please contact HistoricPreservation@santa-ana.org

Historic Properties and Districts

The City of Santa Ana has three National Register Districts: Downtown Santa Ana (listed in 1984), French Park (listed in 1999), and Floral Park (listed in 2023). In addition to National Register listing status, the French Park Neighborhood also maintains zoning protection for its structures through Specific Development 19 (SD-19). While not a National Register District, the Heninger Park Neighborhood also has zoning protection for its historic buildings though Specific Development 40 (SD-40).

The Citywide Historic Resources Map provided below highlights Santa Ana's historic properties and districts. The properties on the Santa Ana Register of Historic Properties list correspond to the Citywide Historic Resources Map, by referencing the local Register number assigned to each historic property.

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historic preservation In 1998, City Council adopted Chapter 30 of the Santa Ana Municipal Code to establish the “Santa Ana Register of Historical Properties” to list local historically significant properties, and created a Historic Resources Commission to oversee Santa Ana’s Historic Preservation Program.

Any improvements or alterations to a property on the Santa Ana Register of Historic Properties, as well as those contributing properties located in a historic district, must meet the Secretary ofhistoric design Interior Standards for Rehabilitation and will require a Certificate of Appropriateness. Major alterations, relocations or demolitions are considered for approval by the Historic Resources Commission. Please contact the Planning Division for more information regarding alterations to your historic structure (714) 647-5804 or e-mail HistoricPreservation@santa-ana.org

The Design Guidelines and Historic Application information below provides guidance on the process for obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness for new construction, repairs, and alterations to a historic resource.

Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation
Citywide Design Guidelines: Historic Structures (See Chapter 13 and Appendices)
French Park Design Guidelines
Heninger Park Design Guidelines
Neighborhood Review (French Park or Heninger Park only)

Solar Panel Installation on Historic Properties

The Historic Resources Commission meets bimonthly (January, March, May, July, September, November) on the first Thursday of the month at 4:30 pm in City Council Chambers.

Meeting Agenda Packets/Archive – Current and archival agendas, minutes, and audio files are now available via the City Clerk webpage at the link above.

When a property is placed on the state or local historic register, the owners may be eligible for a certain of incentives, as described below:

Information on Historic Preservation Incentives
Historic Plaque Standards
City Historic Restoration Loan Program

If you would like to learn more about Santa Ana, and other community organizations that support preservation of our historic and cultural heritage click here.

Have questions? Please review the list of Frequently Asked Questions.

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