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Mills Act Application

Thank you for your interest in the City of Santa Barbara’s Mills Act Program. In order for your property to be considered for a contract you must have a designated historic resource listed on any city, county, state or federal register. City designations are: Landmark, Structure of Merit, and contributor to a designated Historic District.

The City of Santa Barbara can accept up to eight (8) Mills Act contracts per year – six residential and two commercial, or up to eight residential if no commercial applications are submitted. Applications will be accepted during the months of January through June and must be submitted with a non-refundable application fee (Please contact staff for the amount). Incomplete applications will not be considered. The eight (8) contracts awarded will be ranked and selected using adopted eligibility criteria for the program. Some properties may not qualify due to the cap limits on the total assessed property valuation (currently 1.5 million). Contracts that exceed these limits cab be granted if an exception is approved by City Council with a non-refundable processing fee (Please contact staff for the amount). Once approved, a contract initiation fee will be due (Please contact staff for the amount). All contracts are reviewed by the Historic landmarks Commission and referred to the Community Development Director for final approval. Unless City Council approval is required for an exception to these set limits. Refer to SBMC 22.22.160. A final acceptance fee is required with the final contract (please contact staff for the amount).

A ten-year rehabilitation plan is required as part of the application and will be re-evaluated every five (5) years or as needed. Upon acceptance to the program your property will be subject to an initial inspection by the City’s Design Review Supervisor to assist you in finalizing the rehabilitation plan. It is necessary that you submit the necessary photo documentation on the current condition of the property. You will be required to submit annual reports on completed project(s), along with copies of receipts and building permits where applicable. City staff may conduct property inspections at any time to ensure that proposed work has been completed per contract agreement and meets all applicable City standards.

Please review the Mills Act Application packet. If you have any questions please contact Nicole Hernandez, Associate Planner, Urban Historian, at (805) 564-5470 x4557 or email at

The packet includes

  • Mills Act Fact Sheet
  • Mills Act - List of Potential Projects
  • Maintenance and Rehabilitation Standards and Conditions
  • Mills Act Program Application Checklist
  • Mills Act Program Application
  • Mills Act Program Ten-year Rehabilitation Plan
  • Mills Act Program Property Owner Annual Report
  • Mills Act Program Property Inspection Information

 For more information, click here to read our Mills Act Brochure.

Last Updated: Aug 22, 2018
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