Incentives for Historic Preservation
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.
- 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.
- From more information, visit History Colorado - Preservation Tax Credits.
- 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 City Sales Tax Waiver Application 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).
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.