What Do You Need To Know About Exterior Painting in A Long Beach Historic District?
There are some special rules regarding exterior painting and other exterior modifications in Long Beach Historic Districts. A historic district contains a group of older homes that by themselves cannot be designated a historic landmark, but collectively they are worthy of preservation status. A historic neighborhood works together as a community along with the help of the city to preserve the visual qualities, and feelings of the past. Not only do the houses reflect an older period in time, but in some neighborhoods, even the city light fixtures and landscape help reflect that time. Street signs may indicate that you are in that district. A neighborhood that has non-historic structures may still qualify for historic district status if at least 2/3 of the houses are original older homes.
Do you live in a Long Beach Historic District?
Long Beach has 18 Historic Districts
Belmont Heights Bluff Park
California Heights Drake Park / Wilmore City
Hellman Street Craftsman Lowena Drive
Rose Park Sunrise Blvd.
Wrigley Area Bluff Heights
Brenner Place Carroll Park
Eliot Lane Linden Ave.
Minerva Place Rose Park South
What is Historic Preservation?
Historic preservation is the act of legally designating a property or neighborhood as historic because it meets specific criteria such as age or historical relevance. Once designated historic, then that neighborhood is protected by regulations that require the owner to maintain structural quality and integrity. Long Beach Cultural Heritage Commission (CHC) uses design guidelines known as The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, and the guidelines apply to the exterior of the home.
What if I want to change the exterior paint of my house?
Step One – Certificate of Appropriateness:
Start at City of Long Beach official website. You will need a Certificate of Appropriateness. This document is required for all exterior changes even if you do not need a permit. This does excludes ordinary repair and maintenance .The application for the certificate of appropriateness is on line through the Historic Preservation Office. They are very helpful. If you contact them before or during your paint selection process they will make suggestions, and help facilitate the approval process. Be sure to read the application thoroughly before you start your paint selection. There are very specific colors and color combinations that are allowed based on the architectural style of your home.
Step Two – Paint Selection:
Typically painted in color schemes of 3 to 5 colors. Base color usually dark earth tones, usually green or brown. Trim color lighter earth tones such as beiges and tans. Window frames and rafter tails may have third color closer in shade to base color. Mixing these color palettes may be acceptable.
Typically painted in color schemes of 3 colors. Base light to medium earth tones, usually brown variant. If base is brick it would be left exposed. Trim colors usually in contrast with base. Window frames painted in third color such as maroon.
Typically white, off white or light brown hue with second trim color. Sometimes a third color was used on window frames, such as blue, red, green variants.
Tudor/ English Revival
Typically painted in color schemes of 3 colors. Base light earth tones. Trim in contrast to base color. Window frames tend to be dark colors.
Art Deco/ Streamline Art Deco
Bright, bold colors; sometimes pastels with darker color for base. Metallic colors used on windows and doors. Streamline: subdued colors, base light earth tones, usually off white or light grey. Trim usually bright.
Step Three – Complete the Application:
Complete the application for The Certificate of Appropriateness. You will need to include a photo of the exterior of your house, and samples of the paint you selected. It is helpful if you photograph the sample on your house in the appropriate areas you want the paint. Then submit your application to the city. If you have selected colors from a historic collection then the turn- around time at the city is very quick. If you do not select historic colors or want to do major changes then you have to schedule a meeting for Cultural Heritage Commission review and approval. This process will take longer. You can appeal all decisions through the city’s planning department.
Sample Color Palettes:
There are benefits to living in one of Long Beach’s historic districts. It builds community pride. It brings the residents together because of their common interest in preserving their neighborhood. In fact, historic preservation can increase the property value, and owners can even apply for federal tax incentives.
Beautiful historic homes in Long Beach are always in demand and some of the historic districts are very hot neighborhoods. Visit Long Beach’s beautiful historic districts, and make one of these vintage houses your next home.