The County has a rich historical, cultural, and natural heritage.
The first Cultural Heritage Ordinance (Ordinance No. 2026) was originally adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 1968 to create regulations and procedures for designation and protection of “items of special historical or aesthetic character or interest” within Ventura County. The current Cultural Heritage Ordinance No. 4225, adopted in 2000, provides a framework for review of ministerial land use projects where there is potential for the project to impact a known or potential Cultural Heritage Site (e.g., County Landmarks, Sites of Merit, Points of Interest, or Historic Districts).
On February 23, 2021, the Board of Supervisors approved the Planning Division’s Work Plan, which identified an update to the County’s Cultural Heritage Ordinance.
In Fall 2021, Planning Division staff began preparation of draft text amendments to the ordinance that accomplish the following: (1) alignment of definitions and terminology with those used in the professional field of historic preservation, including adding new definitions for widely used terms; (2) clarification of the County’s review procedures, standards, and process for reviewing projects at designated and eligible historic properties; (3) alignment of the eligibility criteria for County Landmarks with the National Register of Historic Places and California Register of Historical Resources criteria; and, (4) identification of the County’s existing preservation incentives for property owners of designated historic properties.
At their March 14, 2022 and March 28, 2022 hearings, the CHB reviewed and provided comments on the draft ordinance. The CHB voted unanimously to adopt a resolution recommending that the Board of Supervisors adopt the proposed ordinance with targeted revisions. The Cultural Heritage Board Hearing packets of March 14, 2022 and March 28, 2022, along with the full Draft Ordinance, can be found in the CHB Archive.
The proposed Cultural Heritage Ordinance is scheduled to be reviewed by the Board of Supervisors at public hearings on July 12, 2022 at 3:00 pm and July 26, 2022 at 1:30 pm.