How San Diego Historical Districts Are Formed & Why They Are Important

As defined in the SD Municipal Code, an historical district is a significant concentration, linkage or continuity of sites, buildings, structures or objects that are united historically, geographically or aesthetically by plan or physical development and have a special character, historical interest, cultural orHow San Diego Historical Districts Are Formed aesthetic value, or that represent one or more architectural periods or styles in history and the development of the City.

Potential districts must meet the City’s designation guidelines and an Intensive Level Survey (City wording) must be prepared to justify the significance of the district.  Contributor properties and non-contributing sites are mapped and recorded on standard state Department of Park and Recreation forms.  Contributing sites meets the significant characteristics of the district with good physical integrity, intact, and built within the historical timeframe.   A non-contributor may have once met the requirements but has been modified, irreversibly, so that it no longer does so, or was built outside the relative period of time.

Widespread public support from within the suggested area must be established for designation.  The entire process may take up to 2 years after the initial documentation is submitted!

The primary reasons for supporting the districts are:

  • Historical districts have proven to increase property values
  • Exterior maintenance and remodeling are under watch
  • The consistency of a neighborhood is a favorable element to most homeowner prospects

It is NOT true that historical homes cannot be modified.  Such work, even additions and expansions, do require City approval, but there are many examples of successful work having been approved and completed.

Great Pacific Escrow Team

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