Was your home in Mira Mesa built before 1974? If so, then congratulations! According to the City of San Diego, you may own a historic property. While Mira Mesa is still a relatively young neighborhood by San Diego standards, it is beginning to reach the threshold at which various government entities and historic preservation organizations consider it to be historic.

This possible designation will not have an immediate impact on you, unless you submit a permit to the Development Services Department to renovate or add on to your home. Then, you may have to do an additional review before the plans can be approved.

What if I Want to Fix Up, Change or Demolish a Building 45 Years Old or Older?

“San Diego Municipal Code Section 143.0212 requires a historical screening process for sites with buildings that are 45 years old or older. The Development Services Department (DSD) administers this section of the Code in conjunction with, or prior to, permit requests. Photographs and building and water permit records will need to be provided to DSD staff so they can determine whether or not a site specific historical study is required. If the project requires a discretionary decision, then an extended initial study for the California Environmental Quality Act will also be required while the determination about potential historical significance is being made. For information on the review process and submittal requirements, please review City PDF icon Information Bulletin 580. To obtain input from Historical Resources Board staff, see the section on our PDF icon staff assistance procedure.”

OK, that sounds intimidating. But it can be very simple. If you apply for a building permit, and your home is 45 years old or older, a notice is sent to your local Community Planning Group and possibly published online. If no one submits a concern about your property being historic, and no example of a historic event or person, or unique architecture, is discovered, that is usually the end of the review. If something is found, there will be more investigation.

So for most Mira Mesa properties, the step will be invisible. But is interesting to note that such a “young” community is now being considered historic. And next year, when Mira Mesa celebrates its 50th birthday, we will have reached the age at which the National Register of Historic Places might have an interest in our neighborhood.

From time to time, as these notices are published, you will see them in Mira Mesa News with a date by which comments must be submitted. It will be interesting to see how many properties are now reaching historic status. Before long, it may become a marketing tool. Imagine living in “Historic Mira Mesa“…