Historical Resource Inventory & Code Updates

Overview and Background

Over the past 2 years, the Planning Division has been working with our consultant, CIRCA: Historic Property Development, to update the City's Historical Resources Inventory and Code. The process began in 2006 with the preparation and formal acceptance of the City's Historic Context Statement, a document that identifies the significant themes in the history of Morgan Hill.

The next step was a visual survey of properties located in the City's Urban Growth Boundary that are at least 45 years of age. Over 870 properties were surveyed, and approximately 126 properties were found to maintain some historic integrity that warranted further evaluation. As part of the update efforts, 30 of these 126 properties were evaluated for potential historical significance. Due to budget constraints, only a limited number of structures could be fully evaluated; therefore, the city chose to focus the historic evaluations in the Downtown area.

Historical Resources Code Update

In conjunction with the inventory update, the city has updated the Historical Resources Code. The intent of the Historical Resources Code Update is to streamline the development review process for the purposes of the California Environmental Quality Act.

Updates to the code include the following:
  • An explanation of how resources will be evaluated as part of development projects or building permit applications
  • The process for altering, demolishing, or relocating potential historical resources; this process includes a new requirement for a Historical Alteration Permit and Historical Resources Demolition or Relocation Permit for projects proposing to alter, demolish, or relocate potential historical resources
  • The addition of incentives for the preservation of designated historical resources
  • The establishment of an adopted survey list for resources determined to be significant on a local level but not formally designated on the local register
  • The process and standard conditions for projects involving archaeological resources
The Historical Resources Code will be used with the adopted Historic Context Statement to make determinations of historical significance in the future.

Historic Resources Code (Chapter 18.60 Morgan Hill Municipal Code)

Historical Context Statement

A Historic Context enables the assessment of a property’s historic significance by creating a framework against which to objectively qualify its relationship to larger historic themes and events. Qualified historic professionals should use the Historic Context as a basis for the completion of historical evaluations.


(links to online resources)


For questions regarding the update process contact Terry Linder, Planning Manager at 408-778-6480.