Protecting San Mateo's historical and architectural heritage
To protect, preserve, and educate the public about San Mateo's historical, architectural and cultural heritage for the benefit of current and future generations.
HISTORY AT RISK
San Mateo's historic resources, both individually and collectively, are perhaps the city's most under valued asset. As development pressure mounts it becomes ever more critical to identify, retain and preserve the historic resources and neighborhoods that contribute so much to San Mateo's identity, character and value.
SMHeritage PRIORITY OBJECTIVES
GENERAL PLAN REVISION
Economic growth and resource protection are partners in a prosperous future. But unprecedented growth with inadequate historic resource protections threaten the Downtown Historic District and endanger historic resources city-wide. The city's Alternative Evaluation warned such growth “could effect the integrity of the buildings and the Historic District,” and would likely “result in development incompatible with the existing historic fabric surrounding the Downtown Historic District.” In response, San Mateo Heritage Alliance has submitted a Recommended Alternative Historic Resources Element to the City.
HISTORIC BUILDING SURVEY COMPLETION
City policy makers need baseline information on potential historic resources in order to make informed planning decisions. Before buildings are torn down or altered, it is necessary to ask if they have some significance to the community. Without fundamental information about our historic resources, uninformed decisions will inevitably be made and resources lost. SMHeritage believes a city-wide Historic Resource Survey is an essential component of an adequate General Plan revision and has urged the City Council to update its outdated survey.
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Historic District designations and Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZs) preserve for future generations the fine homes that draw people to the community. These zoning tools preserve the architectural detailing, high-quality materials, craftsmanship, character and charm that people seek in historic neighborhoods. They encourage homeowners to be sustainable stewards of their homes and 'rehab right' because they know their investment is protected over time.
HISTORIC DISTRICT DESIGN STANDARDS
Objective historic district design standards provide helpful guidance for property owners and architects to remodel, update and expand their homes or commercial properties while respectfully retaining their historic character. Design standards help ensure compatible residential and commercial infill projects. They provide certainty and encourage responsible stewardship with long lasting benefits for the homeowner, neighborhood and community. To design and 'rehab right' means greater cohesiveness with the surrounding neighborhood and greater public appeal.
"A concerted effort to preserve our heritage is a vital link to our cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational, and economic legacies - all of the things that quite literally make us who we are."
- Steve Berry, American Author