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 17, 2023, in order to be included in the agenda for the September 7, 2023, Historic Resources Commission (HRC) hearing. This will be the last HRC hearing that considers Mills Act contract applications for the 2023 calendar year. All Mills Act contracts that are approved in 2023 will not see a reduction in property taxes until the following year, in 2024. 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 11, 2023, in order to be included in the agenda for the November 2, 2023 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

City of Santa Ana Historic Preservation Awards 2020

The City of Santa Ana is proud to announce the two winners of the 2020 Historic Preservation Awards:

Restoration Award: Pacific Electric Sub-Station No. 14

Award Winner: Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD)

Location: Garfield Elementary School – 850 Brown Street / 475 N. Lacy Street


Rehabilitation Award: The Taylor-Oglesby House

Award Winner: Marnie Schnabel

Location: 2510 N. Valencia Street, in the Park Santiago Neighborhood

Award recipients were honored by both the Historic Resources Commission and the Santa Ana City Council. In addition, they received a plaque commemorating their contribution to the City and to preserving Santa Ana’s historic resources.

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.

The City of Santa Ana has two National Register Districts: Downtown Santa Ana (listed in 1984) and French Park (listed in 1999). 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 through Specific Development 40 (SD-40).

Maps of Santa Ana’s historic properties and districts are provided below.  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.

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 Clerk of the Council 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.

Close window