Alteration/Demolition Review and Appeals
Projects Under Review/Appeal
|Address||Built||Review Initated By||Proposed Work||Landmark Determination||Appeal Deadline|
|625 Smith||1940||Owner||Unknown||Not individually eligible for Landmark designation||1/29/15|
|215 Mathews||Ca. 1869||Owner||Unkown||Individually eligible for Landmark designation||1/29/15|
|354 Walnut||1947||Owner||Demolition||Not individually eligible for Landmark designation||1/29/15|
|354 Walnut, Garage||Ca. 1886||Owner||Demolition||Not individually eligible for Landmark designation||1/29/15|
frequently asked questions
1. Why is there the need for a historic review of proposed alterations and demolitions?
Because City Council places a high importance on historic buildings for the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of Fort Collins, a review was established to encourage the preservation of our historic resources.
2. What is a demolition/alteration review?
Whenever a permit or development approval is sought for a building or structure 50 years old or older, the property is reviewed under Section 14-72 of the Municipal Code. This is commonly called demolition/alteration review. This review allows many things: it helps preserve Fort Collins' historic character, it allows citizens to comment on changes to their neighborhood, and it allows applicants to hear about possible tax credits and other financial incentives for historically significant properties. To determine the age of a building or structure, use the online Larimer County Assessor’s property records at larimer.org/assessor/query/search.cfm.
3. How does this review begin?
Before we review a 50+ old building, the applicant must submit the proposed plans and good quality, color, digital photos of all four sides of the building to Josh Weinberg at If the applicant does not have access to email, please call 970-221-6206 for other delivery options. Once we have the photos and plans, the review begins.
4. What’s the first step in the review?
First, the Director of Community Development and Neighborhood Services (CDNS) and the Chair of the Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) do a “determination of eligibility” where they agree on how historically-significant your property is. The determination of eligibility takes a maximum of two weeks and there are two possible outcomes:
- NOT individually eligible for landmark designation,
- INDIVIDUALLY ELIGIBLE for designation as a Fort Collins Landmark.
5. What if there’s a split decision either on the determination of eligibility or on the proposed work's effect upon the property?
If there is a split decision, the 9-member Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) makes the final decision.
6. What if the property is determined INDIVIDUALLY-ELIGIBLE?
If your property is individually eligible, the Director and Chair, or Commission determine if the proposed plans would result in the property no longer qualifying as individually eligible.
7. What criteria are used to make the determination of individually eligible?
Eligibility criteria consist of both historic significance and historic integrity. Properties found to be associated with one or more of the following are considered to have historic significance:
- the property is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of history; or
- the property is associated with the lives of persons significant in history; or
- the property embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represents the work of a master, or possesses high artistic values, or represents a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or
- the property has yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history.
Properties must also retain a preponderance of the seven aspects of historic integrity, or the ability of a property to convey its historic significance. The seven aspects are:
- a. Location is the place where the historic property was constructed or the place where the historic event occurred.
- b. Design is the combination of elements that create the form, plan space, structure, and style of a property.
- c. Setting is the physical environment of a historic property. Whereas location refers to the specific place where a property was built or an event occurred, setting refers to the character of the place. It involves how, not just where, the property is situated and its relationship to the surrounding features and open space.
- d. Materials are physical elements that form a historic property.
- e. Workmanship is the physical evidence of the crafts of a particular culture or people during any given period in history or prehistory. It is the evidence of artisans’ labor and skill in constructing or altering a building, structure, or site.
- f. Feeling is a property’s expression of the aesthetic or historic sense of a particular period or time. It results from the presence of physical features that, taken together, convey the property’s historic character.
- g. Association is the direct link between an important historic event or person and a historic property. A property retains association if it is the place where the event or activity occurred and is sufficiently intact to convey that relationship to an observer. Like feeling, association requires the presence of physical features that convey a property’s historic character.
8. What if the there is a split decision between the CDNS Director and the LPC Chair?
The applicant must contact Karen McWilliams at or Josh Weinberg at to have your plans for alteration or demolition considered by the Landmark Preservation Committee. Additionally, the applicant will need to submit proposed plans, and other submittal requirements, no later than 5 PM, 10 days prior to the proposed LPC meeting date in order to be eligible for the agenda. LPC meeting agendas fill up quickly, so considerations are on a "first come, first served" basis.
9. How do I find out about decisions on proposed projects in my neighborhood or all of Fort Collins?
Notice of decisions made by the CDNS Director and LPC Chair are posted in the Fort Collins Coloradoan and on the City’s historic preservation website, fcgov.com/historicpreservation. And an “UNDER HISTORIC REVIEW” sign is posted on or near the property in question for fourteen days.
10. How do I appeal the decision if I disagree with a determination of eligibility or the determination of affect proposed work will have on a property?
Citizens and property owners can appeal decisions on historic eligibility and potential effects of proposed work to the Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) through the following process:
- The appeal shall be submitted in writing to the CDNS Director within fourteen (14) days of the Director’s decision. Please contact Historic Preservation Staff to obtain this form.
- The LPC will schedule a hearing date as expeditiously as possible.
- Appeals shall include a Colorado Cultural Resource Survey Architectural Inventory Form and accompanying report prepared by an independent expert in historic preservation. The applicant may select from the list of approved experts, or may propose a different expert that meets the requirements and is acceptable to the CDNS Director and the applicant
- The Architectural Inventory Form and report from an independent historic preservation expert must be filed with the CDNS Director at least ten (10) days prior to the LPC’s appeal hearing.
11. What if the property is determined NOT eligible and there is no appeal?
If the property is not individually eligible for landmark designation, the applicant can proceed with their proposed plans once the appeal period has passed.
12. What if there is no appeal, yet the applicant still wants to demolish or alter the property deemed eligible for landmark designation?
The applicant then prepares for a final hearing with the Landmark Preservation Commission. The final hearing has additional submittal requirements, which must be met before the final hearing is scheduled. These are:
- a fee of $250, to cover the costs of processing the request,
- documentation of the property by completing a Colorado Architectural Inventory Form,
- a document containing information about the historic character of the immediate neighborhood, so the impact of the proposed work on the eligibility of other nearby properties may be assessed, and
- fully approved plans for the proposed work.
13. How does the surrounding neighborhood and general public hear about the final hearing and share their thoughts?
Once a final hearing is scheduled, the public is notified in two ways, a. a sign will be posted on the property for at least 30 days prior to the hearing, and b. a notice will be mailed to property owners within 500 feet of the property in question at least two weeks before the hearing.
14. What happens at the final hearing?
At the final hearing, the Landmark Preservation Commission determines if the requirements for documentation of the property and public notification were met. If so, the LPC either approves the application, or, in exceptional instances, may recommend that City Council take steps to protect a highly-significant property through landmark designation.
15. What if the proposed project is a change of use or a commercial development and requires review under the City’s Land Use Code?
If the work proposed requires review under the City's Land Use Code, the procedure again begins with the same determination of eligibility for the property, as described above.
16. What happens if these proposed changes (see question #15) are deemed okay?
Again, if the property is found to not be individually eligible for landmark designation, or if the resource is individually eligible and the plans will not be detrimental to the eligibility of this property as well as to nearby individually eligible historic resources, there is no further historic preservation review, aside from the posting of the property giving citizens the opportunity to appeal the decision.
17. What happens if these proposed changes (see question #15) are deemed not okay?
If, instead, the proposed plans would negatively affect the eligibility of an individually eligible resource or nearby designated or individually eligible properties, then the plans are reviewed by staff for compliance with Section 3.4.7 of the Land Use Code. Staff provides its recommendation to the decision maker, who determines compliance or non-compliance with the code. The purpose statement of Section 3.4.7 (A) provides its intent: "This Section is intended to ensure that, to the maximum extent feasible: (1) historic sites, structures or objects are preserved and incorporated into the proposed development and any undertaking that may potentially alter the characteristics of the historic property is done in a way that does not adversely affect the integrity of the historic property; and (2) new construction is designed to respect the historic character of the site and any historic properties in the surrounding neighborhood. This Section is intended to protect designated or individually eligible historic sites, structures or objects as well as sites, structures or objects in designated historic districts, whether on or adjacent to the development site."