Benefits and Responsbilities

Benefits and responsibilities of owning property listed as local landmarks or in local historic districts in Pueblo, Colorado.

Local landmarks and historic districts benefit the community by celebrating our distinct identity, preserves historic character, increases awareness of our heritage, encourages tourism, and is an economic benefit to property value.

Outreach to property owners, businesses, and service providers is one of the objectives of the Pueblo Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). Education about the benefits and obligations related to local historic resources is an important program of the HPC.

1. Studies in Colorado communities show that historic resource designations maintain or raise property values. There are no cases in Colorado where property values decreased following the historic designation of a property.

2. The owner of a historic resource is eligible to apply for state tax credits for an approved restoration plan. This typically applies to the exterior and, in some cases, any interior item that is listed on the nomination form that proposed the local designation. The State Historic Preservation Office in Denver, known as History Colorado, administers the state tax credits.

3. Local designation of historic resources normally does not extend into the interior of a home or business. Property owners are free to change the interior as they see fit.

4. The Historic Preservation Code (Code) and the Standards of Appropriateness (Standards) guide plan review for modifications to a local historic resource. They equally apply to all designated homes and businesses. Property owners, business owners, and service providers can expect that the City of Pueblo will enforce the regulations.

5. Exterior modifications (other than maintenance or landscaping) of buildings, monuments, objects, or sites require a Certificate of Appropriateness (CoA) from the HPC. A plan for one or more modifications should closely conform to the Standards. If the plan requires further consideration by the HPC, then the application will have a public hearing, where anyone may speak in favor of (or opposition to) the proposal. A CoA public hearing will require an application fee. Applications for demolitions also follow this process.

6. Administrative review for a CoA typically applies to fences, paints, roofs, signs, and solar panels. If the plan does not conform to the Standards, then City Planning staff will refer the application to the HPC. A complete application includes a photo of the existing historic resource, and manufacturer cut sheets of the proposed materials.

7. In rare cases, local historic resources such as homes or other types of buildings may be demolished. A plan for demolition should closely conform to the Standards, and the HPC may temporarily stay the demolition while a preservation alternative is sought.

8. In historic districts, a plan for new construction or infill should closely conform to the Standards, and the HPC may emphasize compatibility (not replication) with the historic character of a district.

9. A local historic resource is insurable. A reliable insurance provider should know what type of policy is appropriate for properties of a certain age and historic integrity. Pueblo has over 150 landmarked properties that all have insurance. Some have special insurance to replace unique details such as hand- crafted wood features. In a case where a home or business is demolished, it would be de-listed from the local inventory of cultural resources. Rebuilding an exact replica would not conform to the Standards because it would result in a false sense of history. If a demolished building was in a historic district, it may be rebuilt on site if the plan is compatible (without replication) with the district, per the Standards.

10. For public hearings of a CoA, applicants can expect a turnaround within 30 days. City Planning staff typically requires three weeks to write a report and recommendation. The HPC can meet once a month at a public hearing to approve or deny the proposal.

11. A property owner may apply for a Certificate of Economic Hardship, to be considered by the HPC at a public hearing, for relief from certain requirements of the Code.

12. A property owner adversely affected by a final decision of the HPC with respect to an application for a CoA, a demolition, or certificate of hardship may seek review by the City Council, per the Code.

13. A local designation does not change a property’s zone district. Zone districts allow for a variety of land uses that meet the requirements of zoning ordinances.

Further questions may be directed to the Office of Historic Preservation: HPC@Pueblo.us or call City Planning & Community Development at 719-553-2259.