Tustin Historic Resources Survey Update


The 2021 Historic Resources Survey considered all properties including buildings, structures, objects, and sites constructed through 1976, which includes properties at least 45 years of age by the end of 2021.  The survey included approximately 330 properties previously identified in the 1990 and 2003 historical resources surveys and the entire Cultural Resources District (CRD).  The survey also considered the remainder of the City (with the exception of Tustin Ranch and Tustin Legacy Specific Plan areas below) to identify additional properties of potential significance.  The final survey report did not result in any properties receiving formal historic designation as part of the survey; this is a completely separate process subject to public notification, participation, and review

links to surVey documents below:

  • 2021 Historic Resources Survey Report (Adopted by PC Resolution No. 4437) 
    • Survey Appendices and Supporting Documents
      • Introduction
        • Project Overview & Scope, a Description of the Survey Area, the Project Team and Previous Designations and Surveys
      • Methodology
        • Archival Research, the Reconnaissance Survey and Property List, Community Outreach, the Historic Context Statement, Intensive Survey, California Historical Resource Status Codes and Resource Categories.
      • Existing Regulations and Criteria for Evaluation
        • National Register of Historic Places, the California Register of Historical Resources and the Tustin Cultural Resource District (Historic Preservation Ordinance)
      • Historic Context Statement
        • Introduction to the Historic Context Statement, a Summary of Contexts and Themes, Historical Background (The Tustin Area, pre-1870), Context (Establishment and Early Development of Tustin City 1870-1913), Context (Tustin Becomes a City, 1914-1945), Context (Postwar Development in Tustin, 1946-1976) and Context (Architecture and Design, 1870-1976)
      • Appendix A:  Survey Area Map
      • Appendix B:  Survey Chronology Map
      • Appendix C:  Master Findings Map
      • Appendix D:  Potential District Expansion Map
      • Appendix E-1:  Property Evaluations in Cultural Resource District and Potential District Expansion
      • Appendix E-2: Previously Recorded Properties Outside of Cultural Resources District and Potential District Expansion
      • Appendix E-3:  Newly Identified Individual Properties
      • Appendix E-4:  Newly Identified Districts and Non-Parcel Resources
      • Appendix E-5:  Properties Not Recorded Due to Lack of Integrity, Significance or Visibility
      • Appendix E-6:  Ineligible Previously Surveyed Properties
    • Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Forms
    • Architectural Style Guides:

how was the survey conducted?

  • A street-by-street reconnaissance survey to identify any newly identified potential historic resources and properties requiring additional research and analysis;
  • An intensive-level survey to update information on previously identified historical resources; 
  • Preparation of a database of historic resources; and updated Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) Primary Record forms for each property identified in the 1990, 2003 and 2020 surveys.

Does the survey include historic context statements?

Yes.  The Historic Context Statement analyzes historic contexts and themes in Tustin from pre-1870 through 1976, and more specifically:

Tustin’s built environment represents an array of architectural types and styles that represent different periods in the City’s development. Together, these various architectural styles provide Tustin with distinctive qualities and help to define the community’s character.  

What were the survey findings?

Table 1

Properties Eligible for Listing in Historic Registers (National, California, Local)166

Properties Not Eligible for Listing in Historic Registers (Low Integrity, Demolition, Lack of Significance)

Properties not Surveyed - Not Visible from Public Right-of-Way2
Properties Identified as Contributors/Non-Contributors to the Cultural Resources District92


is there any potential for expanding the culTURal resoruces district?

Potentially.   The survey update included a task that the consultant review and make recommendations regarding the potential expansion of the CRD.  The first area focused on the residential properties located along Yorba Street between Irvine Boulevard and First Street to the north and south (Figure 1).  The other area that was surveyed is bordered by Mountain View Avenue and North C Street to the west and east, and Irvine Boulevard and First Street to the north and south (Figure 2). These areas were included in the tasks because the 1990 Historic Resources Survey considered these neighborhoods suitable for possible inclusion in the CRD or, because they were separated by First Street, suitable to be considered as separate districts.   The findings for this portion of the survey work are as follows:

  • Yorba Street Area (Figure 1): 
    • The majority of properties on Yorba Street have experienced substantial alterations and no longer convey the block’s historic character or association with the rest of Old Town, although there are several individually eligible properties which have been documented. The City’s consultant, Architectural Resources Group (ARG), did not recommend expanding the CRD to include the Yorba Street area.Yorba Street Area                                                                                Figure 1 - Yorba Street Area
  • Mountain View Avenue and North C Street to the west and east, and Irvine Boulevard and First Street to the north and south (Figure 2): 
    • Over fifty percent (50%) of the properties north of First Street were found to be contributors and thirty-three (33) were found to be individually eligible for listing in a historic register.  Most of the properties were dated to Tustin’s transitional period of development (1914 through 1945). 
    • ARG recommended the City consider expanding the designated CRD to include the blocks of Mountain View Avenue, North “A” Street, North “B” Street and North “C” Street, along with West First Street, as this area exhibits historic development patterns consistent with those in the CRD to the south, and retains a cohesive sense of historic character.
    • Staff would first reach out to property owners and host public workshops at future dates for further consideration.

Mountain View

Figure 2 - Mountain View, North A, North B, North C Streets

are there any new identified historic resources? 

Forty-two (42) properties (Table 2) have been identified as potentially eligible individuals, districts, and non-parcel resources. In contrast with properties identified in previous surveys, many of these resources date to Tustin’s period of intensive postwar development between 1946 and 1976, and they are predominantly multi-family residential resources rather than single-family.  Information for the newly identified resources can be found in Exhibit A - Appendix E3.   The twenty-eight (28) individually eligible properties are located throughout the City and would be eligible for listing in a local, state or national historic register should the property owner decide to seek designation.   Staff will make a recommendation to the Planning Commission at a future date as to whether the eleven (11) potential historic districts and three (3) potential planning districts should be designated as districts.

Table 2
Potential Properties Eligible for Listing,
Newly Identified Properties

Individually Eligible Properties28
Potential Historic Districts11
Potential Planning Districts3
Newly Identified Properties42

was there any community outreach during the survey update process? 

November 12, 2019 – Survey update overview with the Planning Commission.   They included the following information:

  • Purpose and use of historic resources surveys; 
  • Project components; and   
  • Examples of a historic context statement, reconnaissance survey and intensive survey. 

February 25 and March 12, 2020 – Additional direct community outreach included meeting in person with representatives of the Tustin Preservation Conservancy (TPC), Preserve Orange County, and the Tustin Area Historical Society (TAHS). Participants shared information on known and potential resources, recommended other community members with specialized knowledge of historic resources and provided guidance on conducting local and regional archival research.  

March 12, 2020 - The Community Development Department had also scheduled a public workshop on March 12, 2020, to kick off the survey update efforts, provide information on the survey process and to gather input from the community.  Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of City Hall and other meeting places, the live public workshop was cancelled.  

June 2020 through June 2021 – The team was able to commence the field survey work and background research.  The team conducted direct outreach via email and phone to the targeted community members and focused on meeting with individuals with specific knowledge of the properties.  The discourse continued throughout the survey project.

October 13, 2020 - Planning Commission acting as the Historic and Cultural Resources Advisor, conducted a public workshop which included a presentation with an update as to the status of the survey project, including the progress in conducting background research, the reconnaissance survey and drafting the Historic Context Statement.  

How will the architectural style guides and DPR FORMS be used?

The historic survey update document includes six (6) architectural style guides specifically designed for Tustin.  These architectural style guides were selected since these are the six (6) most prominent architectural styles in Tustin’s historic resources inventory.  Staff will use the style guides when analyzing the compatibility of proposed modifications to historic resources, when preparing Certificates of Appropriateness for improvements, and for educational purposes.  Follow the links below to see the six most common architectural styles and their characteristics in the City of Tustin.

As an important land use planning tool, staff, the Planning Commission, and the City Council will use the survey to make informed decisions related to historic resources, guide homeowners and developers, develop and implement land use policies, perform environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), consider adaptive reuse of existing resources, and educate the public in understanding and in appreciation of the community’s history.   

The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) forms are primary records of each identified historic resource and can be used by property owners to nominate their properties to the California or National Register of Historic Places.  Staff will use the DPR forms to inform and guide the review of potential alterations of historic buildings. The updated 2020 DPR forms combined the information that was contained in the prior DPR forms prepared during 1990 and 2003 surveys.   

is there is a map of the survey area and historic resources?

The map below depicts the survey area and the properties identified in the Master Findings Map.  Staff is also in the process of creating an interactive (GIS) map which the public could use to display the survey results and photos.  If you wish to see the list of the properties, please refer to Appendix E-1  of the survey document.  

Tustin Survey Area

who do i contact for more information?


You can contact Tustin Planning at (714) 573-3140 or TustinPlanning@tustinca.org.