Historic district designation—particularly on the local level—offers a range of benefits to property owners and residents, including:

They help protect the authentic, unique character of a neighborhood.

Historic neighborhoods often face threats from mansionization and overdevelopment, as well as incompatible zoning or inappropriate alterations. Historic district designation is one of the few tools cities can use to protect original structures and safeguard against the destruction and degradation of their built heritage.

They enhance property values and protect homeowner investment.

Historic district designation gives buyers assurance that the unique character and ambiance that attracted them to the area in the first place will endure over time, which actually creates economic value.Properties in historic districts often experience greater property value increases than do similar properties elsewhere.

They can lead to significant tax savings for property owners.

In many California cities, owners of contributing structures in historic districts can participate in the Mills Act Property Tax Abatement Program. This program allows qualifying owners to receive a potential property tax reduction and use the savings to help rehabilitate, restore, and maintain their buildings.

The Mills Act is the single most important economic incentive program in California for the restoration and preservation of historic buildings by private property owners.

They help protect large numbers of historic resources.

By covering a swath of properties, historic districts can cover more ground—literally—than individual landmark designation alone.

They help build community.

Working together to create and maintain a historic district can bring neighbors together, build a sense of community, and foster civic pride. This cohesiveness often helps the neighborhood address other issues, such as crime and safety.

They encourage better design.

Comparative studies have shown that there is a greater sense of relatedness, more innovative use of materials, and greater public appeal within historic districts than in areas without historic designations.

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