Mesa’s historic architecture is representative of this quintessential Southwestern city  its Craftsman bungalows, Period Revivals and the ubiquitous Ranch home provide visible links from its early settlement days in the late 1800s to its Post World War II expansion.  Mesa’s distinctive historic architecture extends to its government and civic buildings, religious institutions, hotels, schools, hospitals, and roadside architecture.  Today, Mesa residents desire a dynamic urban environment where its past architectural expressions remain as vital and visible reminders of its rich past. 

To make this dynamic environment a reality, the City of Mesa is embarking on an update to its Historic Preservation Ordinance and its Design Guidelines for Historic Districts in order to advance the preservation planning policies outlined in the Mesa 2040 General Plan.  An effective Historic Preservation Ordinance and Design Guidelines are key tools in the protection and preservation of important historic resources – they provide the direction for how a community maintains and manages its architectural and historical character over the long-term. 

Historic Preservation Ordinance enables a community to protect its sense of place, maintain and revitalize its traditional commercial districts and older neighborhoods, increase community pride, and advance economic development goals.  strong Historic Preservation Ordinance should reflect the preservation needs and goals of its community and address the needs for protecting important historic resources.  Updated Design Guidelines will help promote the proper conservation, adaptation and maintenance of Mesa’s historic landmarks, building resources and districts. 



Project Phase 1: Analyze & Engage
The first phase focuses on defining Mesa stakeholder attitudes and needs related to historic district design guidelines and updating the preservation ordinance, as well as developing a baseline of information for analysis and decision-making. Phase 1 will also involve a wide range of private sector stakeholders and public agency representatives in determining preservation strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and desired results. This phase will culminate with the delivery of Issues and Engagement Summary Report indicating how the design guidelines format and guideline recommendations will be tailored to the issues, needs, and goals for appropriate design treatments within specific property types. The report will also include an outline, highlighting information and references to applicable zoning regulations and design review processes and a summary of key issues related to the general condition of historic buildings and building maintenance, additions, new replacement materials and new construction.

Project Phase 2: Zoning Ordinance and Design Guidelines
Phase 2 will focus on taking the results of the the first phase and recommended goals to draft the Zoning Ordinance and Design Guidelines for historic districts in the City of Mesa. The Design Guidelines document will outline standards and guidelines to historic building rehabilitation and maintenance, as well as background descriptions to architectural styles, property types and building forms, materials, and architectural elements significant to landmarks and historic districts. In addition, Guidelines will provide standards and guidelines for the maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation of both contributing and non-contributing properties in conformance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation to the fullest extent possible.

We want to hear from you! Join us on February 3rd, by clicking on the zoom link below, to discuss your thoughts and concerns about historic properties in Mesa. Help us know how many residents are attending the meeting by clicking on the RSVP button below (this is not mandatory to attend the meeting).

Zoom link – February 3rd (6-7 pm):

Meeting ID: 896 8334 7549
Passcode: 970773


As part of this initiative, the City of Mesa will undertake a meaningful, all-inclusive public participation program that engages community stakeholders and property owners.  An open and transparent public engagement effort will help build the trust and optimism needed in cultivating local support for preserving and managing historic resources in appropriate ways. There will be several ways you can share your inputOver the coming months, the City of Mesa will conduct stakeholder interviews, post an online survey questionnaire, and host a series of virtual information meetings.  

Stay tuned for additional details! 



In the meantime, please share any thoughts or ideas for Mesa Historic District Design Guidelines and Preservation Ordinance to the team via the contact section below.

Documents related to this planning process will be posted in the section.

Download a digital information sheet that summarizes what this project aims to achieve and includes a process timeline. Share this information sheet with your network of neighbors, friends, and fellow Mesa residents.

What is the future of design guidelines in historic districts and preservation ordinance? Share your comments in the contact section below!

Meet the Team

The Lakota Group

The Lakota Group has 25 years of experience in historic preservation, urban design, planning, and community engagement. The Lakota Group is leading the Mesa Historic District Design Guidelines and Preservation Zoning Ordinance. Learn more >

Heritage Strategies, LLC

Heritage Strategies, LLC, is a Sugarloaf, Pennsylvania-based firm specializing in planning for historic communities, cultural landscapes, heritage areas, and historic properties. Learn more >

Neal & Leroy, LLC

Neal & Leroy, LLC is one of oldest minority owned and operated law firms in the United States, focused primarily in real estate matters, including zoning and land use law, historic preservation ordinances, and real estate transactions and finances. Learn more >