Design guidelines are locally developed criteria which assist property owners, developers, architects, and others in making decisions about the appropriate treatment of historic resources when planning repair, rehabilitation, restoration, landscape, or new construction projects. City staff and the Cultural Heritage Board also use design guidelines when evaluating the potential effects of projects to historic resources within their jurisdiction.
Design guidelines incorporate the principles set forth in the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Prepared by the National Park Service, these standards were developed to assist the long-term preservation of historic properties through the preservation of historic materials and features. Many state and local municipalities use the Standards for reviewing preservation projects. In Riverside they serve as the basis for the "Principals and Standards of Site Development and Design Review" as outlined in the Cultural Resources Ordinance (Section 20.30.060).
The Mt. Rubidoux Historic District Design Guidelines (1993) were the first residential guidelines adopted by the City. Most recently, Citywide Residential Historic District Design Guidelines (2003) were adopted. This document is organized in two parts. Part I consists of general design guidelines that apply to residential properties within historic districts citywide. Part II addresses the City's nine designated districts individually with background information, design guidelines and issues specific to each of the districts. Part II is a work in progress and at this time includes only the Heritage Square Historic District; other districts will be added as the guidelines are developed.
For properties within the Downtown Specific Plan area, the specific plan includes design guidelines for both commercial and residential zoned land.