What is the Landmarks Design Review Committee (LDRC)?

Why Would My Application Be Reviewed by the LDRC?

  • Design Review: All exterior changes to an individual landmark or a property located in a historic district requires review and approval through a Landmark Alteration Certificate (LAC) to ensure the changes are compatible with the historic character of the landmarked site. The changes must meet the Design Guidelines. If the LDRC needs to review the application, they can approve it, request revisions, or refer the application to the Landmarks Board for review in a public hearing.
  • Demolition Review: Demolition permit applications for non-designated buildings constructed before 1940 are reviewed by the LDRC to prevent the loss of potentially significant buildings. The LDRC determines whether a building is potentially eligible for landmark designation and can either approve the demolition permit or refer the application to the Landmarks Board for review in a public hearing.

*Applications are due by close of business the Wednesday before, however this does not guarantee a spot on the agenda the following week as meetings fill up quickly.

What Happens at an LDRC meeting?

The LAC design process is typically collaborative and iterative, while the demolition request process provides applicants the opportunity to share information about buildings or structures proposed for demolition.

  • Reviews will begin when staff and the two attending board members are present.
  • Staff will introduce those in attendance, identify their roles, and briefly introduce the application.
  • Applicants (or designated representatives) are not required to attend LDRC meetings

LAC Reviews:

  • The LDRC will assess the proposal, referring to the applicable design guidelines; a collaborative approach between the applicant and LDRC is encouraged in achieving designs that are generally consistent with applicable design guidelines.
  • Revisions may be requested for review by the LDRC at a subsequent meeting, or administratively by staff. Rarely should a proposal be reviewed by the LDRC more than twice.

Demolition Requests:

  • Staff will review available historic material on the building or structure, then give the applicant the opportunity to comment. Staff and the LDRC will assess the building or structure’s potential historic and architectural significance and evaluate its historic integrity, if any.
  • Staff will take notes during the meeting, review the notes at the end of the meeting, and provide a copy to the applicant, with a description of next steps.

Possible Outcomes:

  • The LDRC cannot deny an application; if a single attending LDRC member considers that a LAC proposal may have a “significant impact or potential detriment” to the landmarked site or historic district, the member can refer the LAC application to the Landmarks Board for review in a quasi-judicial public hearing. (9-11-14(3) B.R.C.)
  • If a single attending LDRC member considers there is “probable cause” to consider the building or structure proposed for demolition “may be eligible for designation as an individual landmark, the member can refer the demolition application to the Landmarks Board in a quasi-judicial public hearing (9-11-23(d)(2) B.R.C.)
  • If a Landmark Alteration Certificate is approved, it will not be issued at the meeting but will be emailed to the applicant, usually within 24 hours.

Electronic Participation:

  • Applicants, owners and observers will join the Zoom meeting as Attendees until staff and the two attending board members are present.
  • Applicants & owners are promoted as panelists only during their scheduled appointment time.
  • If at any point during the meeting the staff, board and applicant unanimously decide that it is not possible to hold the meeting by electronic participation due to technical issues, the meeting will be rescheduled when issues can be resolved.
  • Deadlines for applications that are delayed or postponed for any reason are waived.

Public Observation:

  • Members of the public may observe the meeting online.
  • No public input will be taken. Activities that disrupt, delay or otherwise interfere with the meeting are prohibited.
  • We request that public observers not ask questions during case review.

The Landmarks Design Review Committee (LDRC) reviews and approves more than 200 Landmark Alteration Certificate applications, demolition requests, and state historic preservation tax credit applications annually. The meetings are intended to be informal and collaborative.

Contact Aubrey Noble, Historic Preservation Program Coordinator