Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Mills Act to be discussed at HPC

I know that this is quite late in being posted, and I apologize for that. I was SURE that Ed would post with his great maps, but I guess it's up to me this month. (just giving you a hard time Ed.)

Tonight at 6:30 pm in the council chambers will be the monthly meeting of the Pomona Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). There are only two public hearings this evening. The first is the issue of the changes to a home on Preciado Street in the Hacienda Park Historic District, which has been agendized several times in the past. The second is yet another case of a homeowner, this time on Wisconsin in the Wilton Heights Historic District who put in 10 vinyl windows without a permit and now wants the city to allow it, when if they had just gotten a permit, they would have been told what they could and couldn't do.

However, there is a third item, under New Business, which is of major importance to those of us in historic districts and single historic homes. The HPC will be presented with a proposed ordinance for approval (They don't approve it, they recommend it to the city council) which will significantly change the qualifications, requirements, and terms of Mills Act contracts in the city.

This was one of the issues what was SUPPOSED to be discussed at the canceled joint Planning Commission/City Council meeting last month. The Mills Act is used to encourage preservation and maintenance of historic properties. Entering into a Mills Act contract can reduce property taxes by up to about 60%, which funds are then used by the homeowner for preservation and renovation of the subject property.

Again, this meeting potentially may have an impact on the historic districts. If you're interested in this, I encourage you to attend this meeting.

Hope to see you all there.


John Clifford said...

Sorry it's taken me so long to update this, but the %^*# making-a-living interrupts the important stuff.

The HPC meeting was extremely exciting for those of us who live in historic districts. The city's staff have come up with exciting changes to the Mills Act which should open up the potential to see great things happening in our neighborhoods.

Pomona's version of the Mills Act has been extremely restrictive, probably only exceeded by San Francisco's (they only have 2 active Mills contracts in the entire city, while we have 3). The changes will put us more in line with cities like Monrovia and San Diego, where the Mills Act has been responsible for vast improvements to the historic resources within those cities.

Many kinds of project that were previously did not qualify for Mills Act in Pomona, but would, with the changes, included Paint, roofing, seismic, interior renovations, windows, and a host of others.

We're often asked, "What is the benefit of living in a historic district?" Our answers have, to this point always had to be the "soft" stuff like not living in a concrete jungle, not having every house look the same, the maturity of the trees and homes, etc. If these changes pass the city council, it we'll also be able to say, the city will help you to preserve the history that is so important to all of us.

This issue is not over. The proposed changes to the ordinance still have to come before the city council for approval. The changes are slated to be discussed, and voted on, at the upcoming April 21 council meeting. If you're interested, please be sure to attend that meeting and let the council know of your support. If you need more information on the proposal, contact the city's planning department and ask for a copy of the item that will come before the council. The planner who presented at the meeting is Judy Kohler and I'm pretty sure that she'd be more than happy to help you out.

Ed said...

Thanks, John.

Reality has been infringing on my virtual time, but I'll get back to posting a weekly calendar of events, including maps.

So I guess remodeling my kitchen in the Fall wasn't such a smart move. Oh well, I still have gutters, roof, and plumbing out the back of my house. The pleasures of owning an old home never cease.

John Clifford said...

We all certainly know those pleasures.

Good to have you back.

Rimona said...

Good words.