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

Incentives for Historic Preservation

Incentives for Historic Preservation

***Electronically Submit State Income Tax Credit 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, including State Income Tax applications must be submitted electronically

Benefits of Landmark Designation

As a way to encourage landmark designation of the city's eligible historic resources, the city offers a variety of incentives to property owners.  To find out if your property is designated, please refer to the Map of Historic Districts & Landmarks or the List of Individual Landmarks. pdf 

Tax Credits 

  • Federal Investment Tax Credits are available for approved renovations to properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places that are used for commercial purposes, including rental housing.

  • State Income Tax Credits  are available for approved renovations to local landmarks and “contributing” buildings in local historic districts.  Twenty percent of rehabilitation costs can applied as a direct credit against state income tax owed, up to a maximum of $50,000 per property.  The credit can be spread out over a 10 year period if desired. ​​​​

  • A waiver of city sales tax on construction materials is available when applying for a building permit, if at least 30 percent of the value of materials is for the building's exterior. Section 3-2-6(w)

    • Submit a  with your building permit application. 

Possible zoning variances or exemptions allowed in Title 9 for locally designated properties:

  • Setback encroachment for front porches, Section 9-7-4(d); 
  • Building Height, Appurtenances, Section 9-7-7(b), B.R.C, 1981;
  • Accessory Buildings in Residential Zones, Section 9-7-8(a);
  • Side Yard Bulk Plane, Section 9-7-9(d);
  • Side Yard Wall Articulation, Section 9-7-10(d)
  • Maximum Building Coverage, Section 9-7-11(d)
  • Floor Area Ratio Requirements, Section 9-8-2
  • Solar Access, Section 9-9-17(f)(6)(D)
  • Greenpoints - Alteration or Modification, Section 10-7.5-5(a)(5)
  • Support for a variance from the Board of Zoning Adjustment for landmarked structures, Section 9-2-3(h)(4), B.R.C., 1981. 
  • Floodplain requirements for substantial improvements, Section 9-9-6(a)(16);
  • Coordination with the Chief Building Official for waivers from certain provisions of the International Building Code (i.e. lower railing heights may be permitted if historically compatible and safe). 

Grant Eligibility

  • Eligibility for the Colorado State Historical Fund, a grants program established by the passage of the constitutional amendment legalizing gambling in certain Colorado communities. Grants are available for projects in the following categories: acquisition and development (must be a local landmark or on the State or National Register), education projects, and survey and planning projects. Persons in the private sector must apply through a municipality or county.


  • Dedication of a bronze plaque commemorating the establishment of an individual landmark status at a public ceremony.

City staff assistance

  • City staff is available to assist applicants through the development review and building permit processes. The Landmarks Design Review Committee meets on a weekly basis to help expedite this review. 

Responsibilities of Landmark Designation

Exterior Changes Require a Landmark Alteration Certificate

  • Exterior changes to individually landmarked properties and those located within a historic district require a Landmark Alteration Certificate (LAC). Visit the Design Review page for more information.

General Upkeep of Your Historic Property

  • The Landmarks Board cannot require the owner of a designated landmark or a property in a landmark district to make improvements to the building and/or its site. However, the Historic Preservation Ordinance does allow the board to require maintenance so that the landmark or district is not neglected. Keeping your home well-maintained will ensure its preservation for years to come and contribute to the special character of Boulder’s historic neighborhoods.