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  • Historic Preservation
  • Design Guidelines
  • Alterations
  • Demolitions
  • Landmarks & Historic Districts
  • Landmarks Board

Design Review Process for Landmarks and Historic Districts

Design Review Process for Landmarks and Historic Districts

***Electronically Submit Historic Preservation Applications***

The City of Boulder is committed to its core value of community safety and is proactively taking steps to limit potential social spreading of COVID-19. In an effort to accommodate social distancing recommendations, the Planning & Development Services Center is currently closed to the public.

During this time, Historic Preservation Review applications must be submitted electronicallyThe Historic Preservation team is continuing to provide services remotely as best we can, and we appreciate your understanding and patience. Please note that there is a 5 - 7 working day lag time between submitting applications to Planning & Development Services and Historic Preservation staff receiving them. If you haven't heard from us regarding your project after 7 days, please email [email protected] . 

When Is Review Required?

All exterior changes to a property designated as an individual landmark or located within a historic district requires review and approval through a Landmark Alteration Certificate (LAC). The intent of the design review process is to ensure that proposed changes will not adversely affect or destroy their historic character or architectural integrity and that all changes are consistent with the spirit and purpose of the Landmark Preservation Ordinance.

There is no fee for this review. Once approved, submit the LAC with your building permit application (if required). 

How Do I Get Started?

  • To find out if your property is designated, please refer to the Map of Historic Districts & Landmarks.
  • Submit a Landmark Alteration Certificate (LAC) Application pdf to a Project Specialist in the Planning & Development Services Center (1739 Broadway, 3rd Floor). following the guidelines to submit electronically.
  • Provide clear, color photographs of each side of the building.
  • Provide a written description of the proposed work and plans showing “existing” and “proposed” work.
  • Refer to the LAC application for additional information on the submittal requirements.

Levels of Review

  • Administrative: Historic Preservation staff reviews application for minor alterations, including roofing, paint and rear fences, on a rolling basis. 
  • Landmarks Design Review Committee (Ldrc): The Ldrc meets weekly to reviews applications for more significant changes, including front and side yard fences, window rehabilitation and replacement, and additions to designated buildings. Visit the Landmarks Design Review Committee page for the most recent agenda. 
  • Landmarks Board: The Landmarks Board meets monthly and reviews applications for new construction over 340 sq. ft., proposed demolition on a landmarked site or within a historic district, or any application referred to the full board by the Ldrc. Visit the Next Landmarks Board Meeting Page for the most recent agenda. 

Review Criteria 

The work must meet the General Design Guidelines pdf and District-specific design guidelines. The design guidelines were developed to provide additional guidance to the criteria found in Section 9-11-18(b) B.R.C. 1981: 

  • The proposed work preserves, enhances, or restores, and does not damage or destroy the exterior architectural features of, the landmark or the subject property within a historic district.
  • The proposed work does not adversely affect the special character or special historic, architectural, or aesthetic interest or value of the landmark and its site, or the district.
  • The architectural style, arrangement, texture, color, arrangement of color, and materials used for existing and proposed structures are compatible with the character of the existing landmark and its site or the historic district.
  • For proposals to demolish a building in a historic district, the proposed new construction to replace the building must meet the requirements of the Historic Preservation Ordinance.


Landmark Alteration Certificates are valid for 180 days and can be extended for an additional 180 days if requested in writing prior to the original expiration date.