If you’ve been following the city’s preservation efforts recently, you might know that San Gabriel passed a new preservation ordinance last year that protects and preserves the city’s historic past. This new ordinance replaces the city’s previous historic ordinance that dates back to the 1960s. While certainly succinct, the old historic ordinance didn’t provide an adequate framework for the city to protect its historic structures and resources.
As the Los Angeles Conservancy notes:
While the 1965 ordinance was groundbreaking at the time, it grew outdated and out of pace with current historic preservation practice and law. The City of San Gabriel undertook a two-and-a-half- year effort to update its ordinance for the twenty-first century.
Throughout the process, the City prioritized the people who live and work in San Gabriel. The team held community meetings and study sessions encouraging residents to pose questions about the ordinance, offer feedback, and discuss issues. The updated ordinance uses clear, concise language and is free of jargon, making it user-friendly for the people of San Gabriel.
With the new ordinance, San Gabriel now has a modern framework to protect the city’s cultural, architectural, social, historical, economic and political heritage. Essentially, this will allow the city to maintain its unique historic character for generations to come with new guidelines and procedures.
As a result of the city’s efforts, the Los Angeles Conservancy awarded San Gabriel a project award for its preservation ordinance:
One of the most significant updates calls for the creation of a Historic Preservation Commission to serve as the City’s dedicated body of historic preservation experts—which San Gabriel has never had. It prioritizes the creation of a historic context statement and a citywide survey of historic resources.
It also gives San Gabriel the ability to protect and maintain the cohesive, historic feel of residential neighborhoods through the designation of historic districts and the establishment of Conservation Overlay Zones.
You can view a list of this year’s winners on the Los Angeles Conservancy website. Winners will be honored on May 2 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.