Historic Preservation Ordinance & Regulations
Responding to the loss of several important historic buildings in the 1960s and early 1970s, Historic Boulder, Inc. drafted a historic preservation ordinance, which City Council unanimously adopted in 1974. The ordinance established an official municipal process to preserve and protect the historic, architectural, and environmental assets that contribute to Boulder’s unique sense of place.
With the adoption of the ordinance in 1974, Boulder became one of the first cities in Colorado with the authority to designate and prevent the demolition or destruction of historic, architectural, and cultural resources considered valuable to the community. Today, more than 30 communities in Colorado have similar historic preservation ordinances, many of which are based on Boulder's model.
Historic Preservation does not mean a static environment. The preservation ordinance provides criteria for alterations, allowing Boulder's historic buildings and neighborhoods to adapt and change with the times, while protecting their historic character.
Historic Preservation Ordinance
Link to Boulder Revised Code, Chapter 9-11: Historic Preservation to view the complete ordinance.
Four Focus Areas
- Designation of landmarks and historic districts.
- Review and approval authority of proposed alterations to these buildings, and to new construction or proposed demolition in these areas.
- Review of applications for demolition or moving of non-landmarked buildings over 50 years old to prevent the loss of buildings that may have historic or architectural significance and to provide the time necessary to initiate designation or to consider alternatives to demolition of the building.
- In order to preserve the historic integrity of the individual landmarks and properties within historic districts, the historic preservation ordinance requires prior approval of exterior changes to buildings or sites, or proposed demolitions. Proposals must meet the purposes and standards outlined in the historic preservation code, and adopted design guidelines. These tasks are carried out by the Landmarks Board.
The Landmarks Board is permitted by the Historic Preservation Ordinance of 1974 to adopt rules and regulations as it deems necessary for its own organization and procedures. This capacity has been primarily used to establish design guidelines for historic districts and individual landmarks. The following administrative rules and regulations have been adopted by the Landmarks Board to help evaluate each potential designation in a consistent and equitable manner.
- A. Significance Criteria for Individual Landmarks
- B. Significance Criteria for Historic Districts
- C. Mapleton Hill Historic District Design Guidelines
- D. Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation
- E. Guidelines for the Review of Artwork in Historic Districts & for Landmark Structures
- F. Signage Guidelines for the Chautauqua Historic District
- G. Public Hearing Notice for Administrative Rules
- H. Paint Schemes and Colors
- I. Landscaping
- J. Chautauqua Design Guidelines
- K. Guidelines for Structure of Merit Designation
- L. Guidelines for Names of Landmarked Structures and Sites
- M. Expiration of Alteration Certificates
- N. West Pearl Historic District Design Guidelines
- O. Chamberlain Historic District Design Guidelines
- P. Guidelines for Structures of Merit Recognition
- Q. Downtown Urban Design Guidelines (2002)
- R. Administrative Review for LAC Applications
- S. Administrative Review for LAC Applications - Downtown
- T. General Design Guidelines
- U. Highland Lawn Historic District Design Guidelines
- V. University Place Design Guidelines
- W. Amendments to the Chautauqua Sign Guidelines
- X. Pool Design Guidelines
- Y. Administrative Rule Clarifying the Demolition Review Process (Historic Preservation)
- Z. Amendment to the Downtown Urban Design Guidelines (Feb 2016) and Z. Amendment to the Downtown Urban Design Guidelines (March 2016)
- AA. Chautauqua Park Historic District Lighting Design Guidelines)
- BB. Amendment to the Downtown Urban Design Guidelines to Address Signs (2018)