Huntington Beach

HB moves to protect historic buildings

The Newland House is Huntington Beach's first residence.

The Newland House is Huntington Beach’s first residence.

History buffs may rejoice as the Huntington Beach City Council took action on Nov. 3 to help preserve the community’s long-standing buildings.

The council voted to approve a resolution establishing the Mills Act program, which offers economic incentive in the form of property tax breaks for the preservation of historic buildings in the city.

First established in 1972, the Mills Act program has now been enacted in over 100 cities across the state, and nine in Orange County. It offers a property tax break of up to 50 percent, provided the property owner uses that difference to maintain and upgrade an historic structure. Each year as many as 10 such buildings can be added to the list, with a cap of 260. An application fee of $500 will required.

Huntington Beach’s history dates back to 1889 with the establishment of the Shell Beach community. In 1901 it became Pacific City, then adopted its present name in 1909. Although much of the original downtown has been replaced with new construction, there are still historically significant sites, places and buildings in the city, according to Teri Baker, assistant to the city manager.

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