The local review board of the Idyllwild Historic Preservation District met with a full board and Riverside County staff member Keith Herron to review issues or applications within the district.
As of the Thursday, March 31 meeting, there were no new applications for modifications of buildings within the historic district. What was discussed was the lack of interest by historic building owners in the district to petition the county to create a Mills Act ordinance that would apply to Idyllwild.
The Mills Act, enacted in California in 1972, provides up to 50-percent annual tax credits to owners of historic buildings to remediate and maintain the historic character of their properties.
Currently in force in the county in Riverside, Corona and Palm Springs, the Mills Act could apply in Idyllwild to both residences and commercial buildings already classified as district “contributing [historic] resources.” Even if an Idyllwild property, residential or commercial, is currently outside the historic district boundaries and has not yet been categorized as historic, owners could petition for stand-alone historic classification in order to participate in Mills Act contracts.
But given that the Mills Act has been on the IHPD agenda for more than seven months, with a Town Hall explanatory meeting at the end of September, 2015, there have yet been no letters of interest sent to any of the county organizations that would entertain an initiative to enact the Mills Act for the Idyllwild district.
“It only takes one [petition for Mills Act adoption or letter of interest],” said Herron, IHPD county staff liaison and chief of resources and planning for the Riverside County Regional Park and Open Space District. “Those letters could be sent to me,” said Herron ([email protected] or Park District Headquarters, 4600 Crestmore Road, Jurupa Valley, CA 92509). They could also be sent to the local board (IHPD), the county Historical Commission, the county Planning Department or directly to 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington.
But, if no interest is expressed within the next month, IHPD will drop the issue and likely not resurrect it without interest from property owners within the district. “By next meeting, if no letters [expressing interest in Mills Act adoption] are received by the supervisor [or other appropriate agencies], then there is probably nothing more to do,” said Herron. Herron can also be reached for questions about the Mills Act at 951-955-4558. For more information about Mills Act property owner benefits, visit www.ohp.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=21412.
The next Idyllwild Historic Preservation District meeting is scheduled for noon Thursday, April 28, at the Idyllwild Library Community Room.