Design assistance helps residents develop compatible designs for homes in our local historic neighborhoods. Our goal is to minimize the impacts of additions, alterations, and new construction, on neighboring properties and on the overall historic character of Fort Collins.Design Assistance Handout
The City of Fort Collins offers design assistance, paying up to $2,000, to help residents develop compatible designs for homes in our local historic neighborhoods. Our goal is to minimize the impacts of additions, alterations, and new construction, on neighboring properties and on the overall historic character of Fort Collins. The design assistance program was created to enable property owners to utilize the preservation expertise of qualified design consultants help with both the design of new construction and alterations and the project planning stages. The vetted consultants have demonstrated skills in historically-compatible design and are appointed by the Landmark Preservation Commission.
Who is Eligible for Assistance?
There are three main criteria for eligibility for assistance.
- The applicant must be the owner the property.
- The proposed work must impact a building’s exterior, particularly those elevations visible from public streets.
- The property's location must be within/adjacent to two defined areas or a designated historic landmark. The two defined areas are: the Eastside and Westside Neighborhoods (generally north of Prospect Road, between Taft Hill Road and Lemay Avenue); and the Old Town Commercial District. Other projects/properties may be approved by the Landmark Preservation Commission.
How Does Design Assistance Work?
- Assistance is available on a first come, first served basis.
- Assistance can be applied towards more than one aspect of the same project using separate consultants, i.e., a mortar analysis and the design work can both receive funding, up to the $2,000 per property per year limit.
- Owners of multiple buildings may apply for assistance for up to five separate properties per year, unless otherwise approved by the Landmark Preservation Commission.
- The City will provide a maximum of $2,000 per property per year. Depending on the scope of the project, the entire fee may be more. Any costs above the $2,000 maximum, or any costs incurred outside of the scope of the program, will be the sole responsibility of the property owner.
- The consultant is responsible for providing a set of the plans or report and an itemized invoice to both the City and the property owner. The City will pay the consultant directly, and will provide notice of this payment to the property owner.
How do I Apply?
- Property owners must meet with the City's historic preservation staff for an initial discussion.
- If you wish to proceed, download the application and current list of approved consultants.
- Property owner contacts, interviews, and selects an approved consultant.
- Owner submits a completed application (including property location, property owner name and contact information), consultant selected, nature of project, and full amount of anticipated invoice.
- Staff reviews the application and will notify the owner of the availability of funds.
- Owner enters into a contract with the consultant.
- Consultant submits conceptual plans or report to staff for approval, and provides an itemized invoice. The City will provide funds directly to the consultant.
Consultants may apply anytime to be an approved design consultant by contacting historic preservation staff at 970-221-6206. Consultants will need to provide a paper/ digital portfolio illustrating the criteria. Staff will then schedule an interview with the Landmark Preservation Commission. At the end of the LPC meeting, a decision will be made for inclusion to the approved design consultant list.
How to Become an Approved Design Consultant
what's an approved design consultant?
The City of Fort Collins keeps a list of approved consultants to provide to any design assistance applicants. Property owners shall interview, select and contract with the consultant. The City will pay the consultant directly, upon receipt of the plans or report and an itemized invoice. Any costs above the $2,000 maximum, or any costs incurred outside of the scope of the program, will be the sole responsibility of the property owner.
Consultants shall remain on the list for a period of three years, at which time they will need to reapply to remain on the list. If the Landmark Preservation Commission deems a consultants not to be maintaining their commitment to historic preservation standards and historic design compatibility, that consultant may be removed from the list.
Who's eligible to be an approved design consultant?
To be included on the approved consultant list, consultants shall meet the following criteria.
- Be in the design or construction profession, with a specialization in or strong understanding of historic preservation.
- Can demonstrate having successfully worked on at least five historic properties; and can demonstrate context sensitive design, compatible with surrounding historic properties.
- Applicants must specifically describe the work that they were responsible for on said properties/ projects.
- Provide drawings and/or before photos, along with documentation of the work through after-photos.
- Through overall body of work, must demonstrate an understanding of the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Historic Preservation. This could be in conjunction with the sample projects, demonstrating how the Standards were applied.
In addition to the previous criteria, the consultant will show how they meet one or more of the following criteria established by the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards:
- At least two years of graduate study in architectural preservation, American architectural history, preservation planning, or closely related field; or
- At least two years of full-time professional experience on historic preservation projects and can demonstrate a leadership role in their area of expertise on sample projects.
- Such academic study or experience shall include detailed investigations of historic structures, preparation of historic structures research reports, and preparation of plans and specifications for preservation projects.
- The equivalent of at least two years managing projects where the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Buildings were applied.
- Such projects shall include detailed investigations of historic structures, preparation of historic structures research reports, and preparation of plans and specifications for preservation projects.