Demolition permit applications for non-designated buildings over 50 years old requires review and approval by the Historic Preservation program. The intent of the demolition review process is to prevent the loss of buildings that may have historic or architectural significance and to provide the time necessary to consider alternatives to demolition.

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When is Review Required?

Some exterior work (partial demolition) and full demolition of non-designated buildings older than 50 years old requires review and approval by the Historic Preservation program. The intent of the demolition review process is to prevent the loss of buildings that may have historic or architectural significance and to provide the time necessary to consider alternatives to demolition. Demolition for the purposes of historic preservation review is defined in section 9-16 of the Boulder Revised Code, 1981.

Refer to the Map of Historic Districts & Landmarks to find out if your property is a landmark or in a historic district. All exterior changes, including proposed demolition, to a property designated an individual landmark or located within a historic district require review and approval through a Landmark Alteration Certificate (LAC) rather than demolition review.

What Does This Mean For My Project?

You will need to complete a Historic Preservation Demolition review if your property is older than 50 years old and you are proposing to:

  • replace the siding; or
  • construct in front of a street-facing wall (including a new front porch); or
  • remove part of a street facing wall (including a porch); or
  • remove more than 50% of the exterior walls; or
  • remove more than 50% of the roof; or
  • demolish the entire building; or
  • demolish a newer building on the property, but the primary structure is listed as older than 50 years.

The full definition of demolition for the purposes of historic preservation review is defined in section 9-16 of the Boulder Revised Code, 1981. For more detailed information, please read the Historic Preservation Demolition Review FAQ.

Apply for a Historic Preservation Demolition Review

How Do I Find The Age Of My Property?

The Boulder County Assessor's Office Property Search Map lists the date built under Assessment > Improvements.

Get the application form

If the property is not in a historic district or individually landmarked, but is older than 50 years old, the work may require review and approval by the Historic Preservation program:

Submit Your Application

  • Provide the documentation requested on the application form, including clear, color photographs of each side of the building and a site plan. For partial demolition, provide plans showing “existing” and “proposed” work.
  • Send a completed application form to PDSskipatrip@bouldercolorado.gov.
  • Include HISTORIC PRESERVATION in the subject line
  • A Project Specialist will create a case and invoice the review fees.
  • You will receive notification that the case has been created and instruction to log in through the Customer Self-Service (CSS) Portal to pay the review fee.

For Full Demolition Requests

  • In the meantime, you can start collecting the remaining signatures on page 3 of the Demolition Permit Application. That includes gathering approvals from Xcel, Comcast, the Health Department, etc. You’ll submit all of the approvals together to get your demolition permit. You’ll name that application DemoPmtApp_1739Broadway_4-30-2020.

For additional assistance

  • If you have questions or need help uploading materials, naming them, or saving as PDF, please email historic@bouldercolorado.gov.
  • Si necesita ayuda para traducir esta información al español, llame al 303-441-1905

How Do I Get Started?

Is There A Fee?

Yes, there is a fee for Historic Preservation Demolition Review. The fee for the initial review is based on the age and type of building.

  • Primary structure constructed 1939 or before: $282
  • Primary structure constructed in 1940 or after: $51
  • Accessory structure: $51

If the initial review finds there is "probable cause to believe the building may be eligible for landmark designation", the fee for a Landmarks Board hearing is $1,504.

How Long Will The Review Take to Complete?

  • Administrative: Historic Preservation staff reviews applications for accessory buildings and primary buildings constructed after 1940 to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the building may be eligible for designation as an individual landmark. The initial review takes 14 days from the time the fee is paid.
  • Landmarks Design Review Committee (LDRC): The LDRC meets weekly on Wednesday mornings to review applications for primary buildings constructed in 1939 and prior, and those referred by staff. The LDRC will determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the building may be eligible for designation as an individual landmark. The initial LDRC review takes 14 days from the time the fee is paid. The deadline for the LDRC review is the end of business the Wednesday prior, however this does not guarantee a spot on the agenda as the meetings often fill up fast.
  • Landmarks Board: The Landmarks Board meets monthly and reviews applications referred to the full board by the LDRC or staff. The deadline for the Landmarks Board is 28 days before the meeting, however this does not guarantee a spot on the agenda as the meetings fill fast.

The full review can be complete in 14 days, or take longer than 180 days, depending on the findings. The process has different paths depending on whether there is probable cause to believe that the building may be eligible for designation as an individual landmark.

What Are The Review Criteria?

The criteria for the Landmarks Board’s review of a demolition permit is found in 9-11-23(f) B.R.C. 1981:

  1. The eligibility of the building for designation as an individual landmark consistent with the purposes and standards in Sections 9-11-1 and 9-11-2, B.R.C. 1981;
  2. The relationship of the building to the character of the neighborhood as an established and definable area;
  3. The reasonable condition of the building; and
  4. The reasonable projected cost of restoration or repair.

When considering the condition of the building and the projected cost of restoration or repair as set forth in paragraphs (3) and (4) above, the board may not consider deterioration caused by unreasonable neglect.

What Happens If The Building May Be Eligible For Landmark Designation?

If staff or the LDRC find probable cause to believe the building may be eligible for landmark designation, the application will be reviewed by the Landmarks Board in a public hearing.

The Landmarks Board may 1) issue the demolition permit, 2) place a stay of up to 180 days to explore alternatives to demolition or 3) Initiate landmark designation.

  • If a stay is placed on the application, the time starts from the date the hearing fee was paid. During the stay, staff and 2 members of the Landmarks Board typically meet with the property owner/applicant to discuss alternatives to demolition, including incorporation of the building(s) into redevelopment plans, preservation of the building(s), benefits/responsibilities of landmark designation (including variances and tax credits), and/or relocation of the building(s).
  • During the 180-day stay, the board may vote to hold a landmark initiation hearing, or to lift the stay and issue the demolition permit application. If the board takes no action during the stay, the demolition permit automatically issues.

For more detailed information, please read the Historic Preservation Demolition Review FAQ.

My Permit Was Issued ... Now What?

Once the Historic Preservation Demolition Review application is approved, you submit it to Planning and Development Services (P&DS) with your building permit or demolition permit application. Please note that The Historic Preservation Demolition Review Application is now separate from the Demolition Permit Application to streamline the application and reduce confusion around the two processes.

For full demolition requests, you can start collecting the remaining signatures on page 3 of the Demolition Permit Application. That includes gathering approvals from Xcel, Comcast, the Health Department, etc. You’ll submit all of the approvals together to get your demolition permit. You’ll name that application DemoPmtApp_1739Broadway_4-30-2020.

The historic preservation signature is valid for 180 days and cannot be extended. If the application isn’t finalized within this period, a new demolition permit application is required.