The Mills Act is a California law that allows cities to enter into contracts with owners of historic properties. The contract provides a small reduction in property tax in exchange for preservation and maintenance of the historic property.
The California Building Standards Code, also referred to as the “Building Code,” is a set of requirements for the designing, building, and maintaining buildings in California. It is updated and adopted by the California Building Standards Commission; Modesto then must adopt the Building Code for it to become effective. The California State Historical Building Code is a separate code that recognizes the unique issues associated with maintaining and adapting historic buildings to new uses.
In the early to middle 1990s, Modesto prepared a historic resources survey with the help of historic resource consultant Carey & Co. At the time, the survey reviewed potential historic resources that were at least 50 years old, the age deemed potentially significant by the State of California. The survey primarily involved evaluating a resource visually; additional historic qualities may be present in some resources. The survey is most useful if it is maintained because buildings that have reached the 50-year mark since the Carey & Co. survey was prepared may be considered historically important.