Santa Monica | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photos by Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy

Santa Monica

Santa Monica established its historic preservation ordinance in 1976 and has many programs in place to protect its architectural and cultural heritage.

The city became a Certified Local Government in 1992, indicating its strong commitment to a professionalized preservation program.

The city does not require owner consent to designate landmarks, while the Landmarks Commission reviews proposed demolitions to all structures throughout the city that are forty years of age or older.

In addition to the Mills Act property tax abatement program, Santa Monica offers a range of other incentives to owners of historic properties, including priority plan check processing; fee waivers for Certificates of Appropriateness, planning applications, and plan check applications; and exemption from requirements of the city’s construction rate program.

The scoring details for this community appear below. To see scores for all communities, compare specific communities and categories, and learn more about the Report Card, visit our Report Card microsite.

Category (points available)
Total Score (out of a possible 245, plus Extra Credit): 
Historic Preservation Ordinance (150) / Honorary Ordinance (10): 
Dedicated Historic Preservation Commission (5): 
Dedicated Preservation Staff (15): 
Ability to Designate Historic Districts (15): 
Active Landmark Designation (at least annually) (5): 
Survey of Historic Resources: Citywide (15) / Partial (10): 
Survey Updated Within Past 5 Years (5): 
Mills Act Incentive Program (10): 
Additional Incentives (5): 
Certified Local Government (5): 
Historic Preservation Element or Plan (5): 
Extra Credit (1-25): 

If you'd like to get involved in preservation in Santa Monica, we suggest the following resources:

City Representative

Steve Mizokami
Senior Planner
(310) 458-8341

Local Groups

Santa Monica Conservancy

Santa Monica History Museum

If any of this information is out of date, or to suggest additional ways to get involved, please contact us at or (213) 623-2489.

Most of the following resources are specific to Santa Monica. For general resources related to local preservation and our Preservation Report Card, please visit our Report Card microsite.

Historic Preservation Ordinance

Historic Resources Survey

Landmark Designation Process

Mills Act Application Process

Guide to CEQA (Conservancy website)

If any of these links are broken or incorrect, or if you would like to suggest other resources for preservation in Santa Monica, please let us know by emailing