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About the Historic Landmarks Advisory Commission (HLAC) Back to HLAC Home Page

Frequently Asked Questions

    What makes a property eligible for Place of Historic Merit or Landmark status?

    #1 Foxen Canyon Church
    Foxen Canyon Church
    Watercolor by D. L. Sainz

      The building or site must be located within the unincorporated area of Santa Barbara County and meet one or more of the following criteria:

        It exemplifies or reflects a special element of the county's history;

        It is identified with a significant historical person or event;

        It demonstrates a distinctive style, type, period or method of construction/craftsmanship;

        It represents the work of a notable builder, designer or architect;

        It contributes to the significance of an historic area;

        It has unique physical characteristics representing an established and familiar visual feature;

        It embodies elements of architectural or craftsmanship that represent significant achievement or innovation;

        It reflects significant geographical patterns associated with different eras of settlement and growth; or,

        It is one of the few remaining examples of its type possessing distinguishing architectural or historical characteristics.

    What are the benefits of Place of Historic Merit and Landmark designations?

    Landmark #3 Artesia School, Lompoc
    #3 Artesia School

      Permit alternatives to regular building codes to facilitate preservation.

      Property tax basis flexibility "permit use" vs. "highest and best use."

      Eligibility for rehabilitation loan financing.

      ADA funding may be available.

      The preservation and protection of buildings, places, sites, and objects reflecting Santa Barbara County's unique cultural heritage.

    What is the difference between a Place of Historic Merit and a Landmark?

    Landmark #29 Barnsdall-Rio Grande Gasoline Station, Goleta
    #29 Barnsdall-Rio Grande
    Gasoline Station in Goleta

      Designation as a Place of Historic Merit officially recognizes the building or site as having historic, aesthetic or cultural value.

      A Place of Historic Merit is not protected by restrictions as to demolition, removal, alteration or use.

      Designation as a Landmark recognizes the building or site at a higher level of historic, aesthetic or cultural significance.

      A designated Landmark is preserved and protected by conditions restricting its demolition, removal, alteration or use.

      Plans for alterations to Landmarks are reviewed by the Historic Landmarks Advisory Commission for approval.

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