Historic preservation zone proposed for Old Town Pinole

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National Register #96001175 Bank of Pinole
Photo credit: City of Pinole

Pinole is considering an ordinance that would create a historic preservation zone for the area commonly known as Old Town Pinole, which would require projects involving properties within the designated zone to undergo additional review to ensure they help preserve the area’s historic character.

Currently, only three structures in Pinole have been designated as historic. The Bank of Pinole (2361 San Pablo Ave.) and the Fernandez House (100 Tennent Ave.) are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Downer Home (2711 San Pablo Ave.) is identified in the General Plan as an historic structure.

“Except for these structures, the city’s ability to apply the historic preservation goals and policies in the General Plan is currently limited,” according to city staff.  “Some communities have created local historic preservation ordinances to help preserve historic structures. These ordinances generally require structures to be designated as landmarks on a case by case basis. Structures designated as landmarks are then subject to strict regulations regarding proposed changes. While those types of ordinances are effective at preserving a designated landmark, they require considerable work (and generally a historic survey conducted by a professional) to identify structures to be designated as historic. The proposed ordinance takes a different approach, and instead requires projects within a specified zone to go through enhanced design review.”

The City Council is set to review the proposal to create an historic preservation overlay for Old Town Pinole at its meeting March 16.

“Copies of the proposed ordinance and a map of the proposed Historic Preservation Overlay Zone will be available as part of the City Council meeting packet no later than March 12,” the city said.

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