Conservation District vs. Historic District

Conservation District

Purpose
To provide a means of conserving an area’s distinctive atmosphere or character by protecting or enhancing its significant architectural or cultural attributes.

Designation process
Application by neighborhood, review by staff, Landmark Commission, City Planning Commission and City Council approvals.

Petition signatures required
Ordinance requires petition signed by more than 75% of property owners.

Review process for exterior alterations
City Planning & Development Department staff review.

Complexity of regulations
Simpler and more lenient than those for historic districts.

Time required for permit review
Less than 1 day.

Demolition regulation
No.

Tax abatement incentives available
No.


Historic District

Purpose
17 reasons are listed in ordinance, including “to protect, enhance and perpetuate places and areas which represent distinctive and important elements of the city’s historical cultural, social, economic and architectural history.”

Designation process
Application by neighborhood, review by staff, Landmark Commission, City Planning Commission and City Council approvals.

Petition signatures required
While not required by ordinance, a petition is recommended to demonstrate neighborhood support.

Review process for exterior alterations
For routine work, consult the City Planning & Development Department staff. A Landmark Commission review is required for major work.

Complexity of regulations
Historic district regulations are more thorough and restrictive than those for conservation districts.

Time required for permit review
Less than 1 day for routine work, and 30 or more days for major work.

Demolition regulation
Yes.

Tax abatement incentives available
Yes, if within eligible areas.

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