Conservation District vs. Historic District

Comparison Chart
Conservation District Historic District
Purpose To provide a means of conserving an area’s distinctive atmosphere or character by protecting or enhancing its significant architectural or cultural attributes 17 reasons listed in ordinance, including: “to protect, enhance and perpetuate places and areas which represent distinctive and important elements of the city’s historical, cultural, social, economic… and architectural history”
Designation process Application by neighborhood, review by staff, Landmark Commission, City Planning Commission and City Council Application by neighborhood, review by staff, Landmark Commission, City Planning Commission and City Council
Petition signatures required Ordinance requires petition signed by more than 75% of property owners While not required by ordinance, petition is recommended to demonstrate neighborhood support
Review process for exterior alterations City Planning & Development Department staff For routine work, City Planning & Development Department staff; Landmark Commission review required for major work
Complexity of regulations Simpler and more lenient than those for historic districts More thorough and more restrictive than those for conservation districts
Time required for permit review Less than 1 day Less than 1 day for “routine” work; 30 or more days for major work
Demolition regulation No Yes
Tax abatement incentives available No Yes, if within eligible areas