Albert Lopez
Planning Director

General Plans, Ordinances & Policies

Background on the Development of the Alameda County Historic Preservation Ordinance

The Board of Supervisors requested that the Planning Department and the Alameda County Parks, Recreation and Historical Commission (PRHC) prepare a Historic Preservation Ordinance that among other things would ensure that the County has a consistent, well defined process to use in making determinations of historical significance.

The Preservation Ordinance codifies:

  • How the Alameda County Register of Historic Resources is defined and maintained
  • How properties can be added to the Register
  • How properties be removed from the Register
  • Which alterations to historic properties are subject to review
  • Which incentives may apply to historic properties

Development Timeline

A first draft of the Historic Preservation Ordinance was released in December 2007. In 2008, the PRHC convened several meetings to discuss the draft Ordinance. Many residents were concerned that the December 2007 draft of the Ordinance, did not allow for voluntary participation in the County's proposed Register. In response to these comments, the PRHC met on August 7, 2008 to discuss revisions to the draft Ordinance. At that meeting the PRHC recommended that the draft Ordinance be revised such that participation is voluntary, and that property owners currently listed on the draft Alameda County Register of Historic Resources be given the opportunity to opt out of the registration program within 90 days following the adoption of the Ordinance. Properties not currently listed on the draft Register could only be included on the County Register of Historic Resources with the consent of the property owner. Consistent with these recommendations staff has revised the draft Historic Preservation Ordinance.

In 2011, the PRHC established a Historic Preservation Ordinance Review Subcommittee to guide the development of the draft Ordinance. The Subcommittee held four workshops to gather community input on the draft document. On July 13, 2011 the Subcommittee recommended that a revised draft Ordinance be sent to the full PRHC for consideration.

The PRHC met on August 4, 2011 to discuss the proposed Ordinance, and recommended that the draft prepared by the Historic Preservation Ordinance Review Subcommittee be approved with minor technical revisions. Under the draft approved by the PRHC, participation in the Alameda County Register would be voluntary (owner consent is required) and an "opt in" program. A copy of the Ordinance recommended by the PRHC in August 2011 is provided below.

On October 3 and October 17, 2011 the Alameda County Planning Commission met to discuss the draft Ordinance.

The Board of Supervisors conducted a first reading of the Ordinance on December 6, 2011. A second reading occurred on January 10, 2012, and the Ordinance was adopted.

The County also evaluated this project with respect to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and determined that the project would not have a negative impact on any environmental resources in Alameda County. Consistent with those findings, the County prepared a draft Initial Study/Negative Declaration (IS/ND) for this project.

Key Documents

The following documents are provided in Portable Document Format (PDF) and require the free Adobe Reader.

Staff Contacts

Liz McElligott, Assistant Planning Director, Planning Department

Angela Robinson Pinon, Planner, Planning Department

Phone: (510) 670-5400