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California Historical Landmarks

California Historical Landmarks (CHLs) are buildings, structures, sites, or places that have been determined to have statewide historical significance by meeting at least one of the criteria listed below. The resource also must be approved for designation by the County Board of Supervisors or the City/Town Council in whose jurisdiction it is located; be recommended by the State Historical Resources Commission; and be officially designated by the Director of California State Parks. CHLs #770 and above are automatically listed in the California Register of Historical Resources.

Criteria for Designation
To be eligible for designation as a Landmark, a resource must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be the first, last, only, or most significant of its type in the state or within a large geographic region (Northern, Central, or Southern California).
  • Be associated with an individual or group having a profound influence on the history of California.
  • Be a prototype of, or an outstanding example of, a period, style, architectural movement or construction or is one of the more notable works or the best surviving work in a region of a pioneer architect, designer or master builder.
     
    Effects of Designation
  • Registration will be recorded on the property deed.
  • Limited protection: Environmental review may be required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) if property is threatened by a project. Contact your local planning agency for more information.
  • Local assessor may enter into contract with property owner for property tax reduction using the Mills Act.
  • Local building inspector must grant code alternative provided under State Historic Building Code.
  • Automatic listing in California Register of Historical Resources.
  • Bronze plaque at site (underwritten by local sponsor) may be ordered through OHP; highway directional sign available through local Department of Transportation (Caltrans) district office.
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