San Clemente and Historic Preservation
In November of 2005, Mrs. Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States, and Honorary Chair of Preserve America announced the Preserve America Community designations. San Clemente was chosen for this prestigious recognition for our continued protection and celebration of our heritage. There are currently 458 designations in the United States, 11 of which are in California. As part of this designation, there are more funding opportunities available for heritage tourism initiatives that are administered by the Department of the Interior. Keep your eye out for our new “Preserve America” sign to be posted this summer near downtown. The City of San Clemente has been a Certified Local Government since 1993. As a CLG we are required to: enforce appropriate legislation for the designation and protection of historic properties; establish and maintain a qualified historic preservation commission; maintain a system for identifying historic properties; and provide for public participation in the local historic preservation program.
The City of San Clemente has been a Certified Local Government since 1993. As a CLG we are required to: enforce appropriate legistlation for the designation and protection of historic properties; establish and maintain a qualified historic preservation commission; maintain a system for identifying historic properties; and provide for public participation in the local historic preservation program.
The City's General Plan goal with regard to Cultural Resources is to promote the preservation and restoration of the sites, structures and districts which have architectural, historical, archaeological and/or cultural significance to the City of San Clemente.The City has created informational brochures on historic preservation.
Historic Preservation Brochures:
San Clemente Historic Resources and Landmarks
Historic Property Preservation Agreements (Mills Act)
Historic Preservation and Sustainability
Cultural Heritage Permit
Spanish Colonial Revival Architecture
Recursos y Monumentos Históricos
Acuerdos para la Conservación de Propiedad Históricas (Acta Mills)
Conservación Histórica y Desarrollo Sostenible
Permiso del Herencia Cultural
Arquitectura del Renacimiento Colonial Español
The City of San Clemente held the Historic Preservation Education Workshop Series funded in part by the National Park Service, through the California Office of Historic Preservation. All the events were FREE to the public and well attended! the following are descriptions on each workshop and links to the presentation and/or materials.
Historic Preservation Education
The first workshop was held December 10, 2008 on the Historic Contexts of San Clemente. Mr. Cotter from the Historical Society presented on the history of San Clemente, after which we heard from Bill Ayer and Norm and Bonna Haven about growing up here. Below are the links to the presentation which has been divided into 5 parts due to size:
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5
For the third presentation Donovan Rypkema, an international speaker and preservation economist based out of Washington, D.C. presented on the nexus between historic preservation and sustainability. For more information on his consulting firm, Place Economics visit his website at www.placeeconomics.com. Click here for a copy of Mr. Rypkema's presentation.
Historic Property Incentives
The Mills Act offers potential property tax relief for the owners in exchange for restoration and maintenance of the historic property. You can review the application for a Historic Property Preservation Agreement (HPPA) on our Applications page.If you are interested in this incentive, and have questions regarding eligibility and the process, please contact Jonathan Lightfoot, Assistant Planner at (949) 388-2320 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Historic Resources Survey Update
In 2006, the City contracted with Historic Resources Group to update the Historic Structures Survey completed in 1995. This is a requirement to maintain our Certified Local Government status, a National distinction. As part of the survey, a report was submitted providing the methodology for the survey, an update to the City Historic Context Statement, results of the survey and recommendations to strengthen the City’s Preservation Program. The survey can be viewed here.
The survey update includes the completion of the State Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) form for each potential historic resource. The DPR forms are an important tool used by Planners, City decision makers, architects and owners in determining the best way to repair or plan for additions to historic resources.
Miramar Theater and Bowling Alley Historic Structures Report
In 2012, the City received a grant from the California State Office of Historic Preservation to complete a Historic Structures Report (HSR) on the Miramar Theater and Bowling Alley. The HSR describes the historic significance of the buildings, structural integrity, character defining features, and adaptive reuse options of the historic resource. To view the HSR for the Miramar Theater and Bowling Alley click here
Are you considering improvements?
If you are considering improvements to a designated historic structure or a structure near a designated historic structure, you should read the Historic Preservation Flyer.
- Certified Local Government Program
- State Office of Historic Preservation
- Mills Act Property Tax Abatement Program