Design Guidelines Update for Downtown Historic District Coming in 2018

This month, the City of Benicia will start updating the Downtown Historic District design guidelines, which was last updated in 1990. The update is expected to reinforce the character of the historic district, bring Benicia into alignment with historic preservation “best practices,” and streamline design review procedures. 

Benicia’s Downtown Historic District encompasses First Street and the surrounding neighborhoods, as well as the former Tannery Building, Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, State Historic Capitol Building and numerous national and state landmarks. 

The City has selected the consulting firm of Winter and Company to complete the project, which is funded in part by a Certified Local Government grant from the California Office of Historic Preservation. 

Suzanne Thorsen, Benicia’s Principal Planner who is managing the project, said, “This will be a fun, fast-paced project that will benefit our community for years to come! The guidelines will advance Benicia’s efforts to preserve its small-town character, and will complement the existing downtown plan.” 

The project will kick off this month with the following public meetings: 

  • Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. is a special meeting for the Historic Preservation Review Commission in the Commission Room, Benicia City Hall (250 East L Street)
  • Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. is a Community Workshop in the Doña Benicia Room, Benicia Public Library (150 East L Street)
  • Friday, January 19, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. is an Ad Hoc Advisory Group Meeting on in the Commission Room, Benicia City Hall (250 East L Street).

For more information please see the project webpage at