Skip to main content

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Visit https://www.fcgov.com/eps/coronavirus for current updates

Historic Preservation

 Contact Information

Dept Head: Karen McWilliams

Design Review

What is Design Review? Why a Review?

Design review is the process where all exterior work to designated resources in Fort Collins is approved or denied. The review process is outlined in Chapter 14, Article IV of the Fort Collins Municipal Code, and applies to all properties that have a government historic designation. This includes:

  • Fort Collins Historic Landmarks and Landmark Districts (most protected)
  • National Register of Historic Places & Colorado State Register (protection encouraged; sometimes required)
    • Report under Article IV required before work can proceed. Report documents whether project meets the Standards.
    • It is recommended that work meet SOI Standards to retain listing and access to incentives.
    • For owners of single-family residences listed in the National or State Registers, compliance with the Standards is not required, although work cannot begin until a report is issued by the City's Historic Preservation Staff or Landmark Preservation Commission. 
    • For owners of multi-family residential (duplex and above) or commercial properties, compliance with the Standards is required and a Certificate of Appropriateness must be issued per the requirements of Land Use Code 3.4.7.
    • Note: work completed on these kinds of historic buildings that does not meet the Standards may endanger the historic status of the building and lead to permanent loss of access to historic preservation incentives for the property. 

The design review process exists to prevent the loss of Fort Collins' significant historic resources and to help preserve our city's special character. The review may be completed by City staff or by the City's Landmarks Preservation Commission, depending on the complexity of the project and how well the proposed project meets the Standards. The review process helps manage change in Fort Collins and for owners to learn about the substantial financial incentives available for eligible historic resources, including tax credits and zero-interest loans.

Design Review Applications

Design Review begins when an application is received for a project. Some minor/routine projects may not need an application (i.e., in-kind roof replacement), so please check with staff at cHJlc2VydmF0aW9uQGZjZ292LmNvbQ== if you're not sure. 

Please note that for all applications, we will need current photographs of the property, especially the area where proposed work will occur.

When Should I Start This Process?

If you own a designated resource, you are required to have all exterior work reviewed and approved by either City historic preservation staff or the Landmark Preservation Commission before you start work on the project or be approved for a building permit. Staff recommends that you work closely with us from the idea stage through completion of the project. This will help ensure that the idea you have comes to reality in a way that fits your needs and meets the Secretary of the Interior's Standards.

It is never to early to contact staff to get the process started, even if you aren't quite ready to fill out an application.

Staff Process

Most projects are able to be reviewed at a staff level. Those projects are usually routine in nature, very minimally effect the historic integrity of the property, or very clearly meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. After staff receives an application, they will be able to let you know if it is eligible for staff level review only.

Staff review means that the application can be reviewed internally without going before the Landmark Preservation Commission. Staff review is generally quicker than going before the LPC, but will still be reviewed with the same rigor and adherence to the Standards. 

Landmark Preservation Commission Process

Although City staff reviews most projects, some, including large projects, may go to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) for review instead. All projects reviewed by the LPC go through at least one hearing, but applicants going before the LPC are encouraged to complete a conceptual public hearing with the Commission prior to submitting final project plans for approval. 

The LPC's meeting schedule can be found online, here. Materials are typically due from applicants the Monday two weeks in advance of the meeting (usually twelve business days in advance). 

Public Hearing - Conceptual (Optional, but strongly recommended) 

This is an opportunity for the applicant to discuss requirements, standards, design issues and policies that apply to designated historic resources prior to beginning work. Problems can be identified and solved prior to final review of the application. Conceptual review of any proposed work may be limited to certain portions of the work as deemed appropriate by the Commission. If, upon review of the proposed work, the Commission determines that conceptual review is not necessary given the absence of a significant impact on the landmark or landmark district involved, it may be waived by the Commission, and the Commission may then proceed to consider the proposed work on final review at the same meeting.

Public Hearing - Final

Each application shall be finally reviewed and approved by the Commission at the same meeting as the Commission's conceptual review of the application, if any, or at a subsequent meeting of the Commission. During final review, the Commission shall consider the application and any changes made by the applicant since conceptual review.

LPC Meeting Month (2020) Application Deadline Work Session Regular Meeting
March Mon., Feb. 24 Wed., March 11 Wed., March 18
April Mon., March 23 Wed., April 8 Wed., April 15
May Mon., April 27 Wed., May 13 Wed., May 20
June Mon., May 26 Wed., June 10 Wed., June 17
July Mon., June 22 Wed., July 8 Wed., July 15
August Mon., July 27 Wed., August 12 Wed., August 19
September Mon., August 24 Wed., September 9 Wed., September 16
October Mon., September 28 Wed., October 14 Wed., October 21
November Mon., October 26 Thurs., November 12 Wed., November 18
December Mon., Nov. 23 Wed., December 9 Wed., December 16