Historic District & Design Guidelines


The Historic Design Review Guidelines are intended to supplement the City of Grass Valley’s existing general plan guidelines. They are a tool for both the public and the City to make informed decisions regarding additions, alterations, infill, and other similar types of changes to historically significant residential and commercial buildings within Grass Valley’s Historic 1872 Townsite.  

Application for Designation of Historic Resources

Historic District Map

Heritage Homes Walking Tour

Historic Homes

The City of Grass Valley encourages the protection, preservation, and enhancement of its heritage and architecturally significant resources.

In order to effectively assess the relative value of buildings and structures in the historic 1872 Townsite, a priority rating system with four categories was created:

Priority 1 - rating can be applied to properties that retain superb integrity, are one-of-kind or unique examples

Priority 2 – rating can be applied to properties that retain good integrity with some loss of historic fabric, but continue to convey their period of significance and architectural style or sub-style

Priority 3 – rating may be applied to properties that have lost a substantial amount of integrity either through remodeling, additions, or other types of alterations

Priority 4 – rating may be applied to properties that generally lack integrity or are modern (Post 1950’s) infill. It is extremely unlikely that these properties may be recoverable and elevated to a higher rating.

Historic Surveys (Rated 1 or 2) on parcels located within the 1872 Historic Townsite are listed below: 

Property addresses between 101 - 115

Property addresses between 116 - 130

Property addresses between 131 - 150

Property addresses between 151 - 215

Property addresses between 216 - 230

Property addresses between 231 - 300

Property addresses between 301 - 315

Property addresses between 316 - 349

Property addresses between 352 - 415

Property addresses between 416 - 515

Property addresses between 517 - 815

Historic Design Guidelines

Historic Design Guidelines

Historic Paint Colors 

Historical Paint Color Review Application

Benjamin Moore 


Pittsburgh Paints 

Historic Preservation Ordinance 

The Historic Preservation Ordinance established regulations and procedures for the protection, enhancement and preservation of properties, structures, sites, artifacts and other cultural resources that represent significant and distinctive elements within the 1872 Historic Townsite. This includes the City’s cultural, educational, social, economic, political and architectural history.

Historic Preservation Ordinance

Historical Resource Guide 

The Grass Valley Historical Commission, in partnership with the Nevada County Contractors Association, has published this resource guide to facilitate rehabilitation and restoration of older structures. The resource guide includes contractors, artisans and suppliers known to be skilled in working on older homes. The list was assembled from a variety of sources.  The City, nor Historical Commission, does not endorse nor recommend any specific contractor.  The intent of this guide is to provide property owners with a list of qualified contractors with experience working on older homes.

Historical Resource Guide