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Recommended changes for Conservation Landmarks

A house with steps leading up to the porch, and a green lawn
Conservation Landmarks are individual properties designated by the City for their historic significance. This page provides a summary of the primary HRCP recommendations applicable to Conservation Landmarks.

Demolition of Conservation landmarks

Yellow crane demolishing a brick building with stained glass windows
Proposed amendments would apply a demolition review requirement to all Conservation Landmarks. Photo: Scott Tice.

Proposals to demolish Conservation Landmarks are subject to 120-day demolition delay, an administrative regulation that cannot be extended or denied. The recommended code amendments would require demolition review for applications to raze Conservation Landmarks. Demolition review is a discretionary land use decision made against approval criteria before a demolition permit can be issued. The recommended application of demolition review to Conservation Landmarks would allow an applicant to choose between two approval criteria to justify a proposed demolition, with a Type III (Historic Landmarks Commission) procedure required to gain approval. Applications to demolish a Conservation Landmark that are approved through demolition review would be allowed to access bonus development potential on sites in mixed use, multi-dwelling and single-dwelling zones not otherwise allowed.

Changes to historic resource review

3 men wearing hard hats in front of a historic building up on blocks
Alterations, additions, and new construction affecting Conservation Landmarks would still be able to meet the Community Design Standards as an alternative to historic resource review. Photo: Erin Riddle.

Alterations to Conservation Landmarks, such as replacing a window or adding a penthouse, are subject to a discretionary review known as historic resource review. However, unlike Historic Landmarks, Conservation Landmarks can avoid historic resource review if a proposed alteration meets the clear-and-objective Community Design Standards. The recommended code changes would retain the existing Community Design Standards alternative for alterations to Conservation Landmarks, while recommending changes to the procedure types, approval criteria, and exemptions to historic resource review. Recommended changes to procedure types are intended to better align review fees and timelines with the scale of the proposed alterations. Recommended changes to the criteria used by City staff in reviewing alteration, addition, and new construction affecting proposals are intended to provide greater flexibility to applicants including allowing for large additions to Conservation Landmarks provided historic materials are retained. Finally, new exemptions to historic resource review are recommended to allow for certain minor alterations, such as small signs and outlets, to proceed without historic resource review or compliance with the Community Design Standards.

Increased opportunities for adaptive reuse

Large 2-story wood frame house with large windows, front porch, and octagon sunroom at front
This former single family house was saved from demolition and converted into seven apartment homes.

Many Conservation Landmarks have the potential to be adapted to new and creative uses without harming significant historic features. Allowing for the reuse of historic resources provides economically viable options for rehabilitation, increases public access to historic places and provides opportunities for interpreting the past through the lens of contemporary values. The recommended changes would allow certain Conservation Landmarks to be used in ways not otherwise allowed by zoning, such as retail and office uses in residential zones, while mitigating offsite impacts. Additionally, requirements for providing on-site parking would be removed.

New rules for building relocation

Historic building on trailer pulled by large truck
While moving Conservation Landmarks is rare, the proposed amendments establish new procedures and approval criteria for relocation. Photo: Erin Riddle.

New provisions, which are absent today, are recommended to allow Conservation Landmarks to be relocated, subject to review and approval by the Historic Landmarks Commission.

Added clarity on landmark boundaries

Bungalow house with long staircase leading up to full front porch
Many historic resources include more than just a building, such as a Conservation Landmark that includes historic retaining walls or outbuildings.

Recommended changes would clearly identify the boundaries of Conservation Landmark properties on the Official Zoning Map, making them more evident to researchers, tenants, property owners and prospective buyers.

Learn more and testify