Modifying Historic Properties and Mills Act Program

The history in Riverside is a part of the past and will continue to be a part of the City’s future character and identity. Our unique historic structure and vibrant historic districts add variety and interest to our City and invoke civic and neighborhood pride. The Title 20 - Cultural Resources ordinance includes the regulations that help preserve our history.

A Certificate of Appropriateness for any rehabilitation, alteration, demolition, relocation or change to a designated, or eligible, Cultural Resource and for contributing and non-contributing structure within any Historic District or Neighborhood Conservation Area.


The Secretary of Interior Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, published by the National Park Service, is an important resource for those interested in altering historically significant structures in the City. The State Historical Building Code is a great resource with regulations for permitting repairs, alteration and additions to historic buildings. Design guidelines have been established for residential historic districts in the City of Riverside.


Since that time the program has grown to include an ongoing process to survey, record and designate historic resources, an award-winning historic resources inventory database, historic district design guidelines, educational programs, and a historic preservation plan.

For over thirty years, the commitment and participation of the City, community organizations, business leaders and homeowners has ensured the success of Riverside's preservation program. The California State Office of Historic Preservation has recognized the program with its designation of Riverside as a Certified Local Government (CLG). This distinction ensures that the City's preservation program meets all state and federal standards.

The Mills Act Program is the single most important economic incentive program in California for the restoration and preservation of historic buildings by private property owners. Enacted in 1972, the Mills Act legislation grants participating local governments, including the City of Riverside, authority to enter into contracts with owners of qualified historic properties who actively participate in the restoration and maintenance of their properties to receive property tax relief.

The City of Riverside accepts Mills Act applications between January 1 and May 31 of each year. The Mills Act application and information packet is available on the Forms Page.

Take me to all meeting agendas for City Council, City Council Committees, Planning Commission and Cultural Heritage Board.