Manhattan Beach

community Details

Year Incorporated




Following a year and a half of preparation, the City of Manhattan Beach passed a new historic preservation ordinance on February 16, 2016, marking a major milestone for preservation in this 3.9-square-mile city in the South Bay.

To reflect this major progress, the Conservancy has assigned Manhattan Beach a new grade of “C-” (up from “F”).  We anticipate the grade to continue to rise in the year ahead, as the city begins to implement or fulfill key aspects of its historic preservation program. It will receive more report-card points for steps including establishing a historic preservation commission and designating landmarks.

The new ordinance went into effect on March 17 for most of the city, though it will take about five more months for the ordinance to be certified by the California Coastal Commission and take effect in the city’s Coastal Zone.

The ordinance becomes the central fixture of Manhattan Beach’s historic preservation program, which also includes the Mills Act property tax abatement program. The city also plans to conduct its first-ever citywide survey of historic resources.


The first two resources listed below are specific to Manhattan Beach. For general resources related to local preservation and our Preservation Report Card, please visit our Report Card microsite.

Historic Preservation Ordinance

Landmark Designation 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 Manhattan Beach, please let us know by emailing


The scoring details for this community appear below.

Preservation Report Card

The scoring details for this community appear below. To see scores for all communities, compare specific communities and categories.

  • Total Score


  • Historic Preservation Ordinance (150) / Honorary Ordinance (10)


  • Dedicated Historic Preservation Commission (5)


  • Dedicated Preservation Staff (15)


  • Total Score


  • Historic Preservation Ordinance (150) / Honorary Ordinance (10)


  • The new ordinance calls for the creation of a dedicated Historic Preservation Commission, which the city plans to establish in 2016.

    Dedicated Historic Preservation Commission (5)


  • The city is planning to hire an additional planning assistant in 2016 that will dedicate approximately three quarters of their time to preservation related review.

    Dedicated Preservation Staff (15)


  • The ordinance contains an ill-conceived provision allowing property owners in pending historic districts to opt out, which is self-defeating and goes against the very goals of establishing a historic district. No jurisdictions in Los Angeles County with historic preservation ordinances include that type of language.

    Ability to Designate Historic Districts (15)


  • Owner Consent Not Required for Designation (10)


  • Active Landmark Designation (at least annually) (5)


  • The city has plans to initiate its first-ever citywide survey of historic resources. A volunteer survey prepared by the Manhattan Beach Conservancy will be utilized as baseline information.

    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)


Get Involved

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

City Representative

Angelica Ochoa
Assistant Planner
(310) 802-5517

Express your interest and ask about opportunities, particularly in helping to create a preservation ordinance if the city doesn't have one.

Local Groups

Manhattan Beach Conservancy

Manhattan Beach Historical Society

Visit their websites to learn more about their work and find direct contact information.

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.