Types of Applications/Review Process
Historic Overlays: An historic district overlay helps maintain the integrity of an established, older neighborhood. An historic landmark overlay is used to help maintain the integrity of an individual property with historic significance. Creation of a district is a zoning action requested by property owners and approved by the City Council following a public hearing. Once a district is in place, property owners must receive approval from the City's Historic Preservation Officer before exterior remodel and repair work can be done.
Certificate of Appropriateness [PDF]: Within established local historic districts or landmarks, a certificate of appropriateness is required from the City's Historic Preservation Officer prior to doing any repair or remodel work on the exterior of a structure. These applications are handled administratively by staff. If the applicant does not agree with the requirements of the CHPO, the decision can be appealed to the HPC.
Demolition Permit [PDF]: Before a structure in a historic district or landmark can be demolished it must receive approval from the Historic Preservation Officer. Typically, unless there is an immediate hazard, the request will be denied which will trigger a 6 month review process to look for ways to save the structure. At the end of that review period, if a plan has not been established to save the structure, the structure may then be demolished.
Section 106 Review: Section 106 Reviews are reviews of properties to see if development taking place in the area utilizing federal funding or providing for telecommunications (cell towers) will negatively impact any historic or archeological resource. 106 Reviews are done administratively by the Historic Preservation Officer.
For more about permits, see Title 4 of the Mesa City Code
State Historic Property Tax Reductions
Some historic, owner-occupied, non-incoming-producing properties may be eligible for a property tax reduction of 35-45% through the State Historic Property Tax Reclassification. It is a fifteen-year agreement that requires the owner to maintain the property. The State Historic Preservation Office states:
“The State Historic Property Tax (SPT) program offers a substantial reduction in the state property tax assessment for eligible owners. This fifteen-year agreement requires maintenance of the property according to federal and Arizona State Parks Board standards and limited to property used for non-income producing activities. In order to qualify for the SPT program, the property must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places either individually or as a contributor to a historic district. The program is managed by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in conjunction with Arizona's county assessor's offices. The SHPO determines program eligibility and monitors property maintenance, and the county assessor enacts tax classification changes, manages issues of property value, and tax calculation. Properties must meet the minimum maintenance standards established by the Arizona State Parks Board.
The SPT program reduces the property taxes between 35-45%. (The exact figure is dependent on special assessments which are specific to your area. Questions regarding the amount of the reduction should be directed to the county assessor’s office.) As a condition of the reduced tax rate, the owner enters into a 15-year agreement with the state, consenting to maintain their property and to preserve the integrity of its historic features, materials, appearance, workmanship, and environment. If an owner plans to do any work on the property that will impact its public appearance, the SHPO must be contacted for review and comment or approval prior to project implementation. All such projects are reviewed for appropriateness according to a set of national guidelines called the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.
Property owners are required to submit a notarized form (furnished by the SHPO) every three years verifying that the property has been maintained according to program guidelines. This report also requires submittal of two photographs demonstrating the current condition of the property. Furthermore, the owner is required to notify the SHPO when the property ownership or property use changes.”
To learn more, visit the State Historic Preservation Office