Demolition Information


The following information is intended to assist property owners and potential buyers as decisions are being made regarding the future use of affected properties.

1.         WHAT CONSTITUTES “DEMOLITION”? The removal of building materials from the exterior of an existing permitted structure is defined as “demolition” for the purposes of the new ordinance.  This may include siding, roofing materials, doors and windows, porches, stairs, supporting members, etc. 

2.         REPLACEMENT PROJECT REQUIRED. No demolition of a structure of any age can take place until approval has been given for a replacement project.  The replacement project may be a remodel, addition, or new construction.

3.         AGEOF THE STRUCTURE. If a property was constructed 75 or more years ago, the demolition requires a discretionary review by the City. If a demolition is proposed for a structure less than 75 years old, the demolition is only discretionary if the approval of the replacement project is ministerial.


A.         Demolition of any interior walls of any structure for the purpose of remodel, repair or maintenance, subject to any required permits.

B.         Removal and replacement, subject to any required permits, of exterior windows, doors, roof covering, foundation, exterior siding and/or finish cladding material, porches, chimney, architectural details and other structural or decorative elements deemed by the director to be minor alterations, where the materials used for maintenance and replacement do not materially alter the appearance, size or character of the existing structure.


1.         DISCRETIONARY DEMOLITION APPLICATION A “demolition plan” must be submitted by the applicant as part of the replacement project submittal package.  The area of demolition must clearly be shown on a site plan, elevations and roof plan and described in a narrative prepared by the applicant.

  2.        HISTORIC ASSESSMENTAll discretionary demolition permits must be accompanied by a written historic assessment.  Evaluation will determine whether the subject property is eligible for listing as an historical resource in federal, state, or local registers. Criteria for evaluation of Sierra Madre resources will use information as outlined in Chapter 17.82 – Historic Preservation of the Sierra Madre Municipal Code. The assessment will determine if the property is significant and constitutes a historical resource as defined in Section 15064.5(a) California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines.

If the property is found to be eligible as a historic resource, a design review analysis of the proposed alterations will determine if a proposed project would result in a substantial adverse change to a historical resource as defined in Section 15064.5(b) of the State CEQA Guidelines. According to the Guidelines, projects that comply with the Secretary of the Interior’ Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties (Standards) are mitigated to a level of less than a significant impact on the historical resource.

The design review analysis will identify the character-defining features of the property and compliance with the Standards. Should the project not comply with the Standards, the historic resource consultant will suggest alterations to the project to meet compliance requirements.

  3.      APPROVAL PROCESS.  The approval body for the discretionary demolition permit is the same as the approval body for the replacement project. 


If the historic assessment determines that the property has historic merit pursuant to the criteria listed in the ordinance, then a full historic resource evaluation will be required.