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Historic preservation

The Petaluma River Valley has been the location of human settlement for hundreds of years. 14 Native American and 19 historic era cultural resource sites have been recorded in and around the City.

Petaluma has a Nationally Registered Commercial District and two City-designated local Historic Districts. Over 300 properties have been surveyed for potential historic significance. Well-known historic landmarks in the City include the Sweed House, United States Post Office (4th and D Streets), the Opera House, the former Carnegie Library (now the Petaluma Historical Library and Museum), and the Old Silk Mill.

The policies and programs laid out in the Historic Preservation chapter of Petaluma’s General Plan ensure the preservation, protection, rehabilitation and restoration of historical and cultural resources, by recognizing their inherent value in linking the present forms to Petaluma’s roots and evolution.

The City of Petaluma has established three Historic Districts. Before commencing exterior work of any kind on any building within a historic district, please review the district guidelines/standards and contact the Planning Division. Almost all exterior work requires some level of review.

1. The Petaluma Historic Commercial District
2. The Oakhill-Brewster Historic District
3. “A” Street Historic District
4. Historic Properties, Buildings, or Monuments


Interested in Local Designation? Please see Chapter 15.040 - Designation of Landmarks and Historic District by Ordinance, of the Implementing Zoning Ordinance.



  •  Heritage or Landmark Tree
            •  Nomination Form
            •  Deed Restriction

  •  Historic Sign Guidelines (read this if you are applying for signs in the Historic Commercial District)
  •  Preservation Briefs on the repair of Historic Wooden Windows
  •  Referral List for Historical Resources Consultants (this is not a recommendation list by the
      City, this is a list of consultants who meet federal standards for archaeology / historical analysis.)
  •  Site Plan and Architectural Review
            •  Application Checklist (for homes not in a historic district)
            •  Application Checklist (for homes in a historic district)
            •  Information Handout
            If your project proposes the following, please see:
                •  Appendix A - Parking Standards
                •  Appendix B - Trash Enclosures Standards
                •  Appendix C - Landscape Design Standards




Contact Information

11 English St.
Petaluma, CA 94952
phone: 707.778.4301
fax: 707.778.4498

phone: 707.778.4301

Hours: 8am - 4pm
Monday through Thursday Closed every Friday

phone: 707.778.4470

Hours: 8am - 5pm
Mondays through Thursdays, Closed Fridays

Contact a Planner