Historic Structures Code

Historic preservation is an approach to conserving structures, sites, and objects which represent a physical connection with people and events from our past. Historic preservation utilizes various land use planning strategies, governmental programs, and financial incentives to protect historic resources. The preservation of historic structures and sites helps to create a unique environment and sense of place in Richmond. This cultural richness strengthens the local economy by promoting tourism and encouraging investment. 

Historic Preservation is implemented in the City of Richmond through the enforcement of its Historic Structures Code (Chapter 6.06 of the Richmond Municipal Code). The purpose of the Code is to promote the general welfare by providing for the identification, protection, enhancement, perpetuation, and use of improvements, buildings,structures, signs, features, sites, places, and areas within the City that reflect important elements of the City's historical, architectural, archaeological, cultural, or aesthetic heritage for the following reasons:

  • To encourage public knowledge, understanding, appreciation, and use of the City's past;
  • To foster civic pride in the beauty and personality of the City and in the accomplishments of its past;
  • To enhance the visual character of the City by encouraging new design and construction that complement the City's historical buildings;
  • To increase the economic benefits of historic preservation to the City and its inhabitants;
  • To protect property values within the City;
  • To identify as early as possible and resolve conflicts between the preservation of historical resources and alternative land uses;
  • To conserve valuable material and energy resources by encouraging continued or adaptive re-use and maintenance of the existing built environment;
  • Provide a procedure for detailed application of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as it pertains to historic resources as defined in Section 21084.1 of the California Environmental Quality Act;
  • Maintain designation as a Certified Local Government under 36 CFR Part 61 and satisfactorily perform responsibilities delegated by the State of California;
  • Facilitate application of and compliance with federal legislation affecting historic properties, including Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (as amended);
  • Identify properties and maintain a system for the survey and inventory of historic properties;
  • Provide for adequate public participation in the application of public policy in historic preservation, including the process of recommending properties for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, the California Register of Historical Resources, or the Richmond Historic Register;
  • Provide owners of historic properties reasonable economic uses and inform them of available economic incentives for historic preservation; and
  • Provide a constitutional right of owners for due process for restrictions or proposed restrictions on the use of historic properties.