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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 is approved or denied. All exterior work to designated resources goes through design review.

The design review process is designed to help prevent the loss of Fort Collins' significant historic resources and to help preserve our city's special character. The review is required when a permit is sought for exterior changes to any Fort Collins Landmark. The review also provides an opportunity for citizens to comment on change in their community and for owners to learn about the substantial financial incentives available for eligible historic resources. The code provisions regulating the design review process are contained in Article IV of the Fort Collins Municipal Code.

Design Review Applications

Design Review is set up into two categories: large and small projects. If you are unsure of your project size, please contact staff with a brief description and we will be happy to assist in determining which form you need! For example:

  • Large Projects: additions (of any size), projects that require multiple phases, several small projects that are occurring simultaneously
  • Small Projects: solar panels, fencing, roofing

This is not an exhaustive list and again, please contact staff if you need help deciding which application you need. Please note for both applications, we will need current photographs of the property.

When Should I Start This Process?

As a designated resource, you are required to have all exterior work reviewed and approved by the Landmark Preservation Commission before you can 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

Some projects are able to be reviewed at a staff level. Those projects are usually routine in nature or very minimally effect the integrity of the property. 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. This process is generally quicker than going before the LPC, but will still be reviewed with the same criteria. 

Landmark Preservation Commission Process

Public Hearing - Conceptual

This is an opportunity for the applicant to discuss requirements, standards, design issues and policies that apply to landmarks or sites, structures and objects within a landmark district. 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.