Planners approve code changes for Historic Preservation

The City of Sonoma is close to becoming a Certified Local Government. The Planning Commission Thursday approved proposed changes to the Sonoma Municipal Code related to strengthening rules regarding historic preservation, a necessary step to gain the designation.

With these ordinance amendments, Sonoma will have a formal way to evaluate the significance of historic structures proposed for alteration or demolition, will open doors to grant programs previously unavailable, will qualify for specialized training of its commissioners and will get help from the State in developing programs to provide incentives for preservation.

“I feel this is the best thing to do to preserve our historic past,” said Loyce Haran, a past president of the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation.

The certification is conferred by the State Office of Historic Preservation in partnership with the National Park Service. In order to get it, cities must do the following:

• Enforce appropriate state and local laws and regulations for the designation and protection of historic properties.

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