Landmark Designation FAQs

Question: What is a Historic Landmark Designation?

Answer: The Historic Landmark Designation is where a property is recognized by an Ordinance approved by the Pueblo City Council. The property is then protected by the Pueblo Historic Preservation Ordinance. The property is also listed in the Pueblo Inventory of Cultural Resources registry. Properties are also recognizable by a bronze Pueblo Historical Landmark plaque.

 

Question: If I Landmark my property, can the government tell me what I can or cannot do it?

Answer: An owner of a Landmark designated property may do anything to the interior and the grounds of the property. There are certain restrictions placed as to what can be done to the exterior of the property. These restrictions are set in order to maintain the historical character of the structure.

Certain alterations require that a Certificate of Appropriateness to be completed. A Certificate of Appropriateness is an application that must be approved by the City before work can be performed. In this packet are the Regulations for Historic Landmarks & Historic Districts, which spells out what work must be approved in advance.

A sample copy of the Certificate of Appropriateness is also included in this packet. It most cases the Certificate of Appropriateness can be submitted and approved immediately at the City's Department of Planning and Community Development, without an application fee. There are rare cases when the extent of the work required needs the additional approval and the Certificate of Appropriateness must be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission. If this is the case, then the Certificate of Appropriateness will need to be submitted with a $75 fee. The Department of Planning and Community Development will advise property owners accordingly.

 

Question: If I Landmark my property, will I be unable to get hazard insurance?

Answer: Generally, this is not true. However, sadly, there are some insurance companies that do not understand what a historic landmark designation means. You will find that most home owner's insurance companies will insure your property at its current premium rates. The truth is that the landmark designation protects the property in its current state. If the unthinkable should occur, and your property is destroyed, then there is nothing to landmark and the designation is automatically removed. Should something a little less drastic occur and severe damage is caused to the structure, then repairs are made as normal. The landmark designation does not affect any interior repairs. Depending on what is needed to be done to the exterior, a Certificate of Appropriateness may be required. Regardless of the repairs needed, reconstruction of your property can be done using modern building materials.

 

Question: If I make alterations or repairs to my landmark designated property, do I have to use materials that have historic specifications?

Answer: It is a misconception that all building materials must meet historical specifications. For example a framing stud must measure a true 2" x 4" as they did back in 1900. The purpose of a landmark designation is to promote the preservation of the structure. This is done in part by encouraging the use of recycled historic materials and the use of materials that benefit from modern technology. It is acceptable to use building materials that are new as long as they closely resemble the original character of the structure.

 

Question: Do I have to know everything about my property in order to get a landmark designation?

Answer: Not at all. The application may seem daunting, but the property really only needs to meet two out of three criteria. The property must, 1) have significant historical architectural characteristic, 2) have owners or occupants who have local or national significance, or 3) have geographical significance. Most properties will qualify under items 1 and 2 above. Sometimes knowing where to start the research is the hard part. Historic Pueblo, Inc. is the best place to start. Go to HistoricPueblo.org, and click on Home Research. Should you have questions, please feel free to contact the President of Historic Pueblo, Inc., David R.G. Webb. A note of warning, once you start your research, you may find it hard to stop trying to find more and more about your beloved property.

 

Question: How long does the landmark designation last, and do I have to renew it?

Answer: The landmark designation lasts for as long as the structure exists, and once the property is landmarked there is no need to renew the designation. The landmark designation goes with the property, and not the owner.

 

Question: Will the landmark designation affect my ability to sell the property?

Answer: That will depend on the awareness of the Buyer regarding what a landmark designation is and how it relates to the property. This will also depend on how educated the Buyer's real estate professional is on landmark designated properties. There are Buyers who have misconceptions about landmark designations and it may dissuade them looking at a landmark designated property. However, there are other buyers that would prefer to purchase a landmark designated property. There are several reasons for this. One is that the educated Buyers know that landmark designated properties are generally better maintained than those that are not designated. There are also the bragging rights of owning a landmark designated property. The key to selling a landmark designated property is to use a REALTOR that is educated about landmarked properties.

 

Question: What is the process in getting my property landmarked?

Answer: The first step is to download a copy of the Application for Landmark Designation which can be found on the City of Pueblo's website (or use the one included in this packet), or more easily from the Historic Pueblo, Inc. website, and click on Home Research. This will better guide you as to what information may be needed.

The next step is to obtain the necessary information, i.e. research. The Home Research section of the Historic Pueblo, Inc. website is a great resource. Once the application is completed, it needs to be submitted to the Department of Planning and Community Development, located at 211 E. "D" Street, along with the $150 application fee. This fee covers the administration and advertising fees that are occurred by the City.

Once the application is submitted, it is reviewed for completeness, and then sent to the Historic Preservation Commission, where the application is approved in a Public Hearing. From the Historic Preservation Commission, it is reviewed and approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission. The application is then sent to the City Council in the form of an ordinance. This ordinance is then approved by the Council after taking into consideration all testimony given in a Public Hearing. Upon approval by the Council, the property is then designated as a landmarked property. After the application is submitted, the process can take anywhere from three to five months to run through the course.

 

Question: Are there any financial incentives to getting my property landmarked?

Answer: Yes there. There are tax credits available for renovation projects under certain conditions. The attached State Historic Preservation Tax Credit Fact Sheet explains when the tax credit is available. The website HISTORY Colorado provides additional information regarding this topic.

 

Question: Does my property need to be perfect condition in order to landmark?

Answer: No, it does not. It is understood that it takes a lot to get a property in "like new" condition. It is expected that a property in consideration for a landmark designation will have items that need to be improved upon. This is part of the incentive of obtaining a landmark designation is to promote the preservation of a property. While the property should be in sound condition, it does not need to be in pristine condition.

 

Question: How old does my property need to be?

Answer: In order to be considered for a landmark designation, it needs to be at least 50 years old. This means that it has to have been built on or before 1963.