Mills Act Contracts

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The Mills Act is a state law that allows cities and counties to enter into contracts with owners of listed historic properties which bind the owner to certain preservation requirements and conditions and which compels the county tax assessor to recalculate the property tax assessment according to a special formulation which takes the age and historic value of the property into account. Staff cannot guarantee that the reassessment will result in property tax reduction.  

Each contract is individual and unique, with the possibility of specific conditions to perform work required, however a set of standard conditions used by Staff and the Historic Preservation Commission is available at the counter.

The City is currently accepting Mills Act Contract applications concurrent with Historic Landmark Nominations, but Historic Landmark or Contributor status (in Historic Districts) is required for completion of the contract process.

When you have completed the application, submit these along with the required fees and any other items to Planning Staff.  The Planner will set the request for the next Commission meeting.

The procedure for processing the Mills Act application is the same as for a Landmark application since the applications are processed concurrently.  At the meeting, the Commission will take testimony, deliberate the merits of the request and either recommend approval, recommend approval with corrections or recommend denial to the Council.

The recommendation is reviewed by the Council at a public hearing where they will take testimony and deliberate the merits of the request and either approve or deny the contract.  It is recommended that you attend both the Commission and Council meetings.

Once the contract is approved by the Council it must be signed, notarized and recorded with the county recorder.  The county tax assessor will not accept an unrecorded contract. 

The Planning Division staff hopes these directions help you through the process.  However, if you have any questions, you can speak to a Planner by calling (626) 932-5565, Monday through Thursday from 7 am to 6 pm for assistance.

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