Historic Preservation Committee

The City of Elk Grove has a rich heritage depicted in numerous California State Landmarks and properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Preserved historic resources bring much more than aesthetic beauty to a community. Historic preservation helps establish a community's identity rooted in a shared past.

While preservation of historic resources has gone on for many years in our community thanks to a wide range of groups and individuals, the most effective tool to aid historic preservation efforts is a local historic preservation ordinance.

The Historic Preservation Committee normally meets on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 PM in City Council Chambers at 8400 Laguna Palms Way in Elk Grove.

Elk Grove Historic Context Statement Project

The Elk Grove Historic Context Statement Project involves the establishment of a Historic Context Statement document that discusses significant themes in the development of Elk Grove from its earliest beginnings through the 1960s. It identifies associated property types and their character-defining features, and provides a framework for evaluating resources for the National Register of Historic Places, California Register of Historical Resources and Chapter 7 of the Elk Grove Municipal Code. This information will assist planners, property owners and the general public in understanding and assessing the potential impacts of alterations to historic properties. This context will also help facilitate activities such as landmark designations, the use of the California Building Code (CHBC) for qualifying properties, and eligibility for preservation incentives such as historic tax credits. The link to the final draft of the Elk Grove Historic Context Statement and Appendix are provided below.

It is important to note that while the context statement identifies key historical themes in Elk Grove's development, it is not a comprehensive history of the city, nor is it a definitive listing of all the city's significant resources. Instead, it provides a general discussion of the overarching forces that shaped Elk Grove's built environment, why properties associated with that development are important, and what characteristics they need to qualify as historic resources.

Specific Task Or Objective

  • Maintain, publicize, and periodically update a local Historic Resource Inventory listing all historic resources within the city, using guidance presented in Guidelines for Local Surveys: A Basis for Preservation Planning, to include administering and adopting the results of historical surveys;
  • Attain and maintain Certified Local Government Status;
  • Recommend the designation and rescission of historic resources as Elk Grove Landmarks or Elk Grove Heritage Resources to the City Council;
  • Recommend the approval or disapproval, with or without conditions, of applications for Certificates of Appropriateness;
  • Recommend the approval or disapproval, with or without conditions, of applications for Demolition/Relocation Certificates;
  • Perform advisory review of new buildings, structures, objects, and demolitions on lots immediately adjacent to designated historic resources in cases where the city has discretionary review over these projects (as defined by the California Environmental Quality Act);
  • Review Historic District Plans;
  • Investigate and report to the City Council on the use of various federal, state, local, or private funding sources, incentives and other mechanisms available to promote historic preservation in the city;
  • Develop and review a comprehensive local historic preservation plan;
  • Review and comment on decisions and documents developed using the California Environmental Quality Act, the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (United States Code Title 16, § 470, et seq.), and other laws that require consideration of the effects of projects on historic resources when such decisions or documents may affect historic resources or resources potentially eligible for historic designation in the city;
  • Cooperate with local, county, state, and federal governments in the pursuit of the objectives of historic preservation;
  • Participate in, promote, and conduct public information, educational and interpretive programs, newsletters, and appropriate literature pertaining to all types of historic resources to owners of historic resources, building contractors, the Chamber of Commerce, area realtors, and any member of the public requesting such information;
  • Render advice and guidance upon the request of the property owner or occupant, on the restoration, alteration, decoration, landscaping, or maintenance of any historic resource;
  • Provide for adequate public participation in local historic preservation programs, including the process of recommending properties for nomination to the Elk Grove Register of Historic Resources, the California Register of Historical Resources, and the National Register of Historic Places;
  • In the case of historic resources that may be demolished or relocated, take steps to aid in the preservation of historic resources to include, consultation with civic groups, public agencies, and interested citizens; recommendations for acquisition of the property by public or private bodies or agencies; and exploration of the possibility of moving such resources; and
  • Perform any other functions designated by the City Council or required by the State of California’s Certified Local Government program.

View Historic Preservation Committee Ordinance

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Agendas and Minutes

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is my property a historic resource?

Historic resources are buildings, structures, objects, sites, districts, or cultural landscapes listed in or eligible for listing in the Elk Grove Register of Historic Resources, the California Register of Historical Resources, or the National Register of Historic Places, to include resources identified as cultural, archaeological, or prehistoric resources. Click on the "Historic Resources" tab on the left side of this page to access lists of known historic resources in Elk Grove. The City usually requires developers survey properties over fifty years old that have not been previously evaluated for their eligibility as historic resources when development that may impact them is proposed.

My property is a historic resource. What does that mean?

Congratulations! Your property has lasted through fads, economic downturns, severe weather, and numerous residents. The community has realized what you did when you bought it: your building is truly significant.

Historic resources are essential in helping establish a community's identity rooted in its shared past. To preserve the ability of your property to communicate its historical significance, the Historic Preservation Ordinance states that all proposed exterior alterations, demolitions, and relocations to/of your property must be reviewed by a board of citizen volunteers: the Historic Preservation Committee. Applications are usually free. Please contact the Planning Department at (916) 478-2265 with questions.

If my property is important to this community, will the community help me preserve it?
How do you define what is historic?

We all value certain aspects of the past, but everyone does not always agree about what is historic enough to preserve. The Historic Preservation Ordinance lays out a process for determining what is historic but does not specify exactly what is or is not historic.

If I have to "preserve" my property, I assume I cannot make any changes to it. Is that correct?

The term "historic preservation" encompasses a variety of ways to treat historic properties that extend far beyond freezing the appearance of a property. The Historic Preservation Ordinance permits changes to historic resources, provided the changes do not damage the property's ability to communicate its historical significance to the general public. The ordinance only regulates alterations to the exterior of properties, not the interior.

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Historic Resource List And Map

Properties Listed On The National Register Of Historic Places

Properties Listed On The California Register Of Historical Resources

  • Site of first county library branch in California
    (California Historic Landmark #817) - 9125 Elk Grove Boulevard

Other Properties Of Historical Interest

  • Grave of Elitha Cumi Donner Wilder
    (California Historic Landmark #719) - Elk Grove Masonic Cemetery, Row C, Lot 2 - Donner party survivor
  • Site of Murphy's Corral
    (California Historic Landmark #680, California Inventory of Historical Resources #182)
    near the SW corner of Grant Line Road and Highway 99 - the site of the beginning of the United States' conquests of California, also
  • Site of Joseph Hampton Kerr's home
    (California Inventory of Historical Resources #178 and Point of Historical Interest #001)
  • Site of the Old Elk Grove Hotel
    (California Point of Historical Interest #004)
  • Elk Grove Grammar School
    (California Point of Historical Interest # SAC-011)

Old Town Elk Grove Walking Tour

Committee Members

The membership of the Historic Preservation Committee consists of seven regular members and one alternate member.  Committee members are appointed by the Mayor, with the approval of the City Council, pursuant to Elk Grove Municipal Code Chapter 1.03.

Name Position
Brian Van Lente Committee Member
Dennis Buscher Committee Member (Elk Grove Historical Society member)
Daniel Ming Committee Member
Nadia Melgoza Committee Member
Peggy Forseth-Andrew Committee Member
Rachel Simi Committee Member
Antonio Ablog Email or (916) 627-3335