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About the Program

About the Program

City of Ontario’s Historic Preservation Ordinance. In the year 1983, a group of volunteer citizens, under the leadership of a qualified historic resource consultant, and funded by the State of California Office of Historic Preservation, surveyed nearly three thousand properties within the City that were fifty years of age. Intensive level surveys and nominations were completed and submitted to the Office of Historic Preservation and the National Register of Historic Places for hundreds of properties thought to be historically eligible for designation.

In 1991, the City Council had adopted the City’s first Ordinance intended to preserve historic resources. Through the mid-1990s, a few amendments to the Ordinance were approved which further developed the program. During the late 1990s, the Planning Commission was assigned the duties of the Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Department allocated staff to the historic preservation program. During this period, the program grew at a rapid rate designating nearly 60 landmarks and 5 historic districts. Additional updates were made in 2003, the year Ontario became a Certified Local Government, and in 2015, with a comprehensive Development Code update.

Ontario is a Certified Local Government.  Pursuant to the National Preservation Act of 1966 and as amended in 1980, the Certified Local Government (CLG) program encourages the preservation of cultural resources by promoting a partnership among local governments, the State of California Office of Historic Preservation (OHP), and the National Park Service. Becoming a CLG, through development and implementation of a local historic preservation program based on federal (The Secretary of Interior Standards) and state standards, can provide local staff and commissions the tools, technical training, and more meaningful leadership roles in the preservation of the community's cultural heritage. These tools assist with integrating local historic preservation interests and concerns into the official planning and decision-making processes at the earliest possible opportunity. In addition, CLG status provides CLGs access to historic preservation grant funds. In April 2001, the City of Ontario became a Certified Local Government (No. 46) by the State of California. To date, there are approximately 62 local governments within the State of California that participate in the CLG program.

Each year, OHP requires all CLGs to submit an annual report. The report serves two major functions: 1) it is a vital means of communicating local historic preservation issues to OHP; and 2) it serves as a tool to monitor local government activities that are required to maintain CLG status. The annual report demonstrates compliance with the six (6) basic requirements as listed below:

  1. Maintain a comprehensive local historic preservation plan that identifies the preservation mission, goals, and priorities of the local government.
  2. Enforce appropriate local legislation for designation and protection of historic properties.
  3. Establish and maintain an adequate and qualified historic preservation review commission and non-commissioned staff.
  4. Maintain a system for the survey and inventory of historic properties.
  5. Provide for adequate public participation in the local historic preservation program.
  6. Review and recommendation of historic properties within the local jurisdiction to the National Register of Historic Places.

The State of California conducts the annual review from each period beginning October 1st and ending September 30th to ensure that each CLG continues to meet the minimal requirements for participation and is satisfactorily performing its responsibilities. To view past Ontario CLG Annual Reports, click here.

Ontario is a Preserve America Community. Preserve America is a national program, initiated by the White House and developed in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Commerce that recognizes and designates communities, neighborhoods, and tribal governments that protect and celebrate their heritage through preservation of historic assets, economic development, community revitalization, education, and heritage tourism. The goals of this initiative include a greater shared knowledge about our Nation’s past, strengthened regional identities and local pride, increased local participation in preserving the country’s irreplaceable cultural and natural heritage assets, and support for the economic vitality of communities. In 2007, the City of Ontario was designated a Preserve America Community.

For information regarding the Historic Preservation Program contact:

Planning Department
303 East "B" Street
Ontario, CA 91764
Phone: (909) 395-2036
Fax: (909) 395-2420

For specific questions on the Historic Preservation program, please contact:
• Diane Ayala, Senior Planner,
• Elly Antuna, Assistant Planner, 

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