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City of Chandler moves to implement its Historic Preservation Ordinance

The Chandler City Council adopted a Historic Preservation Ordinance in November 2020 in order to preserve and celebrate Chandler’s past. The ordinance established a Historic Preservation Commission, Historic Preservation Officer, and a process to establish four different types of HP districts:

  • Heritage Site: To recognize and honor important people, events or buildings that lived/occurred/existed at one time at a certain location but for which no physical context still exists.

  • Conservation District: Honorific for a historic area where some physical context remains. This is to encourage preservation of historic structures that still exist in larger areas where most of the historic structures no longer exist.

  • Historic Preservation District: A preservation zoning overlay over structures or historic districts.

  • Landmark: A preservation zoning overlay over a structure or district with the highest level of historic importance to the city.

Landmarks may include sites such as the McCullough-Price House at the Chandler Museum and the San Marcos Resort in Downtown Chandler. Conservation Districts could include locations such as the Goodyear District, at Alma School and Ocotillo Road. The Silk-Stocking District, just outside Downtown Chandler, is an example of potential a Historic Preservation District, with most of the residences dating back to the 1930s. Heritage Districts could include the Chandler Heights Citrus Camp, and the Los Muertos Archeological Site.

Heritage Site and Conservation District do not have any rules attached, while Historic Preservation District and Landmarks have rules that protect historic resources from demolition and inappropriate alterations like in other municipalities. Nominations may be initiated by individuals and/or neighborhoods but must have 90% or more ownership support. Designation criteria for a property or district includes:

  1. Is listed on the Arizona or National Register of Historic Places,

  2. Is associated with events and/or persons significant to Chandler’s history,

  3. Is at least 50 years old, and

  4. Retains sufficient integrity of location, design, workmanship, etc. There can be multiple designations over certain sites and areas that qualify for some or all four designations.

For other criteria and more information, read here.

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