Assembly Bill 2580

New state bill unfairly stigmatizes preservation


AB 2580 unfairly stigmatizes historic preservation and overlooks the value and benefits preservation offers for housing, from adaptive reuse and the production of new housing to the retention and reinvestment in existing affordable housing contained within older and historic buildings. Join us in opposing this state bill!


The Conservancy signed a letter opposing the proposed Assembly Bill 2580, alongside the California Preservation Foundation and other preservation groups statewide. While we always seek out possible win-win outcomes, this proposed legislation incorrectly frames historic preservation as a constraint and impediment to housing development. It misconstrues our role in supporting housing through existing affordable housing contained within older and historic buildings and how preservation has long created new housing through the adaptive reuse of historic buildings.

While there is no disagreement about the critical need to create more housing, AB 2580 does not further this goal and instead poses a dangerous precedent and unnecessary make-work for already over-worked local governments. It risks undermining the value that preservation brings to our communities and is an extreme overreaction and bill in search of a problem that does not currently exist.

About This Issue

AB 2580 requires the housing element to analyze historic preservation practices and assess how historic designations impact local housing needs. It mandates the annual report to list all historic designations from the past year on the National Register, California Register, or local registers, along with the status of any housing projects proposed for the designations.

Our Position

AB 2580 unfairly stigmatizes historic preservation and overlooks the cost-effectiveness of historic rehabilitation in providing and retaining affordable housing. The bill reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of existing preservation programs and, as admitted by the bill sponsor, is the first step towards eroding protections for historic resources. Proponents have stated that “tackling the abuse of historic preservation rules requires several steps, and AB 2580 is a crucial initial measure.” However, the bill fails to provide any evidence of abuse of historic rules, offers no incentives, and does nothing to encourage housing.

The Conservancy joined numerous other organizations across the state in signing a letter from the California Preservation Foundation in opposition to state assembly bill AB 2580. Click the image to read more reasons why this bill unfairly stigmatizes historic preservation and register your own opposition to this bill.

How You Can Help

What can you do?

1.     Write to your legislator using our online advocacy network.

2.     If you represent an organization, send a letter on your letterhead and send it to your legislator.   Download a Letter Template

4.  Send an email to your legislator using our email template.

5.  Please join us in opposing Assembly Bill 2580 by reaching out to the bill sponsors:

Assembly Member Buffy Wicks https://a14.asmdc.org/
Assembly Member Sharon Quirk-Silva https://a67.asmdc.org/
Senate Housing Committee Chair Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh: https://sr23.senate.ca.gov/

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