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Certificate of Appropriateness (Demolition Requests)

To download this application, click here. The application fee is $1,218.00 in addition to the cost of an independent historic resources evaluation.

Demolition and Substantial Exterior Alterations to Non-Listed Buildings, Structures and Objects

For any non-listed buildings, structures or objects at least 50 years old (or 45 years old if associated with a non-categorically exempt development project under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)) the potential resource must be evaluated to determine if it meets the City’s definition of a “historic resource” under Whittier Municipal Code Section 18.84.040 (Definitions) and the definition of a “historical resource” under Section 15064.5 of the CEQA Guidelines. To make this determination, a historic resource evaluation/report is required to be prepared by an independent historic resource consultant that meets the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualifications in history and/or architectural history. Upon completion, the report is forwarded to the Historic Resources Commission along with a Certificate of Appropriateness Demolition Application for their determination as to whether or not the building, structure or object meets the definition of a “historic resource”/”historical resource” and is eligible for local landmark designation.

Demolition of Eligible and Landmark Historic Resources

Any request to demolish or substantially alter an eligible and designated historic landmark so that it no longer retains sufficient integrity to convey its historic significance is subject to the approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness Demolition Application by the Historic Resources Commission under Whittier Municipal Code Section 18.84.210. An Environmental Impact Report is also required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This is because any demolition or adverse alteration that would result in a historic resource no longer being eligible or designated as a historic landmark would constitute a significant, adverse, impact on the environment.

Findings for Demolitions

A Certificate of Appropriateness application for the demolition of a historic resource may be issued upon the Historic Resources Commission’s findings that it, in whole or in part, is necessary because:

  • All efforts to restore, rehabilitate, and/or relocate the resource have been exhausted;
  • Restoration/rehabilitation is not practical because the extensive alterations required would render the resource not worthy of preservation;
  • Failure to demolish the resource would adversely affect or detract from the character of the district; or
  • The applicant has obtained a certificate of economic hardship, in accordance with Whittier Municipal Code Section 18.84.220.

All Commission decisions are subject to a 15-day appeal period to the City Council.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Who pays for the historic resource evaluation?
The applicant/property owner requesting the demolition.

Where do I find a historic resource consultant that meets the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualifications in History or Architectural History?

When a Certificate of Appropriateness Application is submitted for the demolition of a building, structure or object at least 50 years old (or 45 years old if it is part of a non-categorically exempt “project” under CEQA), or is an eligible or designated historic landmark, the City of Whittier will solicit three competitive bids by independent historic resource consultants that meet the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualifications in history and/or architectural history. Of the three professional bids received by the City, the applicant/property owner selects the consultant who will conduct the independent evaluation. The applicant/property owner then pays the City for the full cost of the evaluation up front. The City of Whittier will then enter into a professional services agreement/contract with the consultant preparing the evaluation.



Who manages the historic resource evaluation process?
The City of Whittier Community Development Department.

How long does it take for a historic resource evaluation to be prepared?
Typically, most historic resource elevations take approximately 45 to 60 days to complete without any unforeseen circumstances.