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Preservation Laws

Preservation Laws

Preservation of historic resources is regulated through federal, state, and local laws which are highlighted below.

City of Ontario Historic Preservation Ordinance. Any alteration, addition, relocation, rehabilitation, restoration, landscape, or demolition requires approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness. The COA ensures that any change made to a historical resource preserves the original character and architectural features of that property regardless if no other City permit or approval is a required.  In order to approve a COA, it must be determined that the proposed alteration, restoration, relocation, or construction, in whole or in part, will not detrimentally change, destroy, or adversely affect any significant architectural feature of the resource, that the proposed alterations be compatible with the exterior features of other improvements within the district and the proposal does not adversely affect or detract from the character of the district.  For more detail see the tri-fold brochures on COA, waivers, and window replacement.

A Waiver to the Certificate of Appropriateness may be issued by the Planning Director if the alteration is considered minor in nature and does not adversely affect or change character defining features of the historic resource.

Ontario implements environmental law including California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), encoded in Sections 21000 et seq of the Public Resources Code (PRC) with Guidelines for implementation codified in the California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 14, Chapter 3, Sections 15000 et seq., CEQA requires state and local public agencies to identify the environmental impacts of proposed discretionary activities or projects, determine if the impacts will be significant, and identify alternatives and mitigation measures that will substantially reduce or eliminate significant impacts to the environment.

Historical resources are considered part of the environment and a project that may cause a substantial adverse effect on the significance of a historical resource is a project that may have a significant effect on the environment. The definition of "historical resources" is contained in Section 15064.5 of the CEQA Guidelines. 

Historical Resources are also subject to National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties, and afford the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation a reasonable opportunity to comment. The historic preservation review process mandated by Section 106 is outlined in regulations issued by ACHP.

Federal Laws

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