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Protection Strategies

Published in Preservation
There are a range of protection options for historic buildings in Utah.

Preservation Easement

Learn more on our Easement page

Main Players

  • Utah Heritage Foundation
  • Historic building and property owners

Positives

  1. Provides the highest level of protection for a building against demolition or insensitive alteration - reviews and protection administered by UHF
  2. Easements remain in force in perpetuity
  3. Easements run with the land so they are in force through subsequent ownerships
  4. Easiest and quickest method of protection to execute - takes a minimum of 60 days
  5. Easements have a consistency of policy - donation to private organizations such as UHF are not subject to politics and changing administrations or elected officials
  6. Protecting one building in the middle of a potential larger development can preserve many buildings around it because several parcels cannot be combined for redevelopment

Negatives

  1. Without prior interest or education about historic preservation, property owners are typically reticent about entering into an agreement such as this
  2. Cost is the highest for a property owner - costs vary depending on the appraised value of a property
  3. Can be perceived as a barrier to selling a house - though it is actually not
  4. Only protects one building at a time
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Local Historic Districts and Landmark Sites

Main Players

  • Municipality (administration, city council, planning & zoning dept.)
  • Utah State Historic Preservation Office
  • Historic building and property owners

Positives

  1. Provides additional project review and demolition delay through city ordinance by having projects reviewed by a Historic Landmarks Commission
  2. Has the potential to head-off demolition or insensitive alterations by delaying demolition and exploring options through the Commission
  3. Can cover a small or large geographic area or individual sites
  4. Criteria can be broader to incorporate local history and architectural examples that may not individually qualify for the National Register
  5. Little or no cost to a property owner
  6. Can make property owners eligible for small grants or loans if the city chooses to pursue this option and make it available

Negatives

  1. Ultimately does not provide complete protection against demolition
  2. Needs property owner support or for a historic district, majority property owner support
  3. Requires complete city support to move forward through the process
  4. Takes a minimum of one year to execute
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National Register of Historic Places

Main Players

Positives

  1. Provides the honor of being listed on the list of this country's historic buildings.
  2. Provides a financial benefit to property owners - option for owners to receive a state tax credit for rehabilitation expenses related to a residential property or federal tax credit for rehabilitation expenses related to a commercial property.
  3. The tax credit provides review of rehabilitation plans by the Utah State Historic Preservation Office to ensure a quality preservation project in the community.
  4. The tax credit is an incentive for rehabilitation that can preserve important historic features, encourage seismic upgrades, or just encourage rehabilitation over demolition.
  5. The National Register does not prevent an owner from taking advantage of any of their private property rights.

Negatives

  1. Does not provide protection against demolition.
  2. Does not provide protection against insensitive alterations either after the tax credit is used or if the tax credit is not used.
  3. Criteria for listing can be difficult to meet for a National Register historic district if many buildings have been altered or demolished.
  4. Criteria for listing can be difficult to meet for a single structure if it it has been altered beyond recognition as a historic building.
  5. Takes a minimum of one year to execute for a single property; likely longer for a historic district.
  6. If it is a proposed district, need a majority of property owners to agree to be listed.
  7. Cost considerations
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Conservation District Zoning

(through your local municipality)

Main Players

  • Muncipality (administration, city council, planning & zoning dept.)
  • Historic building and property owners

Positives

  1. Provides additional project review by building and planning officials through zoning regulations.
  2. Has the potential to head-off insensitive alterations by exploring options through the building and/or planning divisions.
  3. Can cover a small or large geographic area.
  4. Criteria can range from broad (only effecting massing, height, setback, and front orientation) to very specific (also effecting window types and spacing, garage placement, door placement and type, roof type and orientation, etc.) and demolition.
  5. Little or no cost to a property owner.

Negatives

  1. Ultimately does not provide protection against demolition.
  2. Can typically take a minimum of one year to execute.
  3. Requires complete city support.
  4. No financial benefit offeredto property owners as an incentive by virtue of being located within boundaries of a conservation district.
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Other great resources for protecting historic neighborhoods and structures

How To Save A Landmark: A Citizen's Guide

how-to-save-a-landmark-100.jpgWhether you belong to an existing preservation organization or to a group of individuals organizing now to save an important structure or site, the fight ahead of you may be difficult. Thus Guide is meant to help you through the process of protecting your community's architecturally and historically significant properties.

This Guide lays out steps you can follow in your preservation efforts. In addition to presenting ideas for organizing, tactics, and strategies, the Guide also tells five success stories, lists in the Appendix organizations and governmental bodies and publications that can further help you, and describes federal and state statues that relate to preservation of historic properties.

Available through Landmarks Illinois for $6 plus $1.50 S&H

 

 

Saving the Neighborhood: You Can Fight Developers and Win!

As the development debate rages on, it has been the better-organized, better-financed developer who has been winning out over neighborhood homeowners. Written by a streetwise, battle-hardened expert who has beaten developers time and again, this complete how-to guide is packed with important information on how to protect your neighborhood from outside encroachment.

Available at your local bookstore. Please buy locally.

For more information about protecting historic buildings in Utah, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at (801) 533-0858 ext. 105.