Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

City Extends Comment Period on Mills Act Study and Recommendations

An historic home with a Mills Act preservation contract in the West Adams Heights neighborhood. Contributing properties in all Historic Preservation Overlay Zones are among those currently eligible for the program.


If you would like to comment on a recent report suggesting major changes to the City’s Mills Act historic preservation program, you now have some extra time.

Recently, the City Planning Department held two public workshops on potential changes to the Mills Act program, which contracts with individual property owners to provide tax breaks in exchange for specific improvements to eligible historic homes and other buildings.  For the last 26 years, the program has been, according to the city, “Los Angeles’s primary financial incentive for historic preservation…offering property tax savings for owners who invest in the rehabilitation and restoration of historic buildings.”

But because the Mills Act program has always been short staffed and underfunded by the city, the Office of Historic Resources  commissioned a study of the program in 2020, by an outside consultant whose report makes several major recommendations to make the program more equitable, less expensive, and easier for the city to manage.

As a recent message from the Office of Historic Resources explained, “The City commissioned the comprehensive assessment to consider the future of the Mills Act program and analyze its sustainability, fiscal impact, management needs, and equity outcomes. The program assessment will inform policy recommendations from City Planning to the City Council on options to improve the administration of the program, expand participation in communities with historic disinvestment, and increase capacity for new Mills Act applications.”

But the report’s recommendations, including cancelling or not renewing many existing contracts, imposing additional fees on homeowners, and setting new limits on the number of contracts allowed, have sparked some concerns among preservation and community groups who have reviewed it so far…and many other groups, such as Neighborhood Councils, have not yet been formally notified about the proposals nor had time to review them. (See our coverage of the proposal, the city’s early presentations of its findings, and some early feedback here.)

So to give the public more time to review the report and the recommendations it makes, before the city moves on to the next phase of drafting specific revisions to the Mills Act ordinance, the office of Historic Resources announced yesterday that it will extend until September 15 the time that the consultants’ report will be held open for review and comments.

If you would like to learn more about the current Mills Act program, see and/or An FAQ document is also available here.

For information about the consultants’ report and proposed changes to the Mills Act program, see the full report and recommendations links above, read the Executive Summary, or view slides from the Office of Historic Resource’s July 21 presentation to the Cultural Heritage Commission, and a list of questions and answers from that session.

To provide input on the recommendations, you can use the city’s official feedback form, contact the Office of Historic Resources at  (213) 847-3676 at the Office of Historic Resources, or email [email protected].

Also, finally,  notes the OHR, although the review period for the consultants’ report will now close on September 15, there will still be “additional meetings and opportunities to participate as City Planning moves forward with policy recommendations.”


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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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