Surveys help ensure consistent identification, documentation, and evaluation of important cultural and historic resources. Undertaking a survey to identify historic resources acknowledges that these resources have value to the community and future generations.
A survey is fundamental to historic preservation because it results in the identification of historic resources, helps determine which of those resources should be preserved, and can be essential in shaping local ordinances, guidelines, or master plans to protect these resources.
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Historic resources are buildings, sites, structures, objects, and districts that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture. In addition, resources provide character, continuity, and a sense of uniqueness to the community.
For purposes of designating a local historic landmark, historic properties are defined by the Municipal Code as being at least 50 years old with architectural, social, geographic, or environmental importance. In addition, the historic property will fit at least one of the following criteria:
• Exemplify specific elements of an architectural style or period;
• Illustrate the work of an architect or builder recognized for expertise;
• Demonstrate superior craftsmanship or high artistic value;
• Represent an innovation in construction materials or design;
• Represent a style particularly associated with the Broomfield area;
• Represent a built environment of a group of people in an era of history;
• Illustrate a significant historic remodel and identify the site of an historic event;
• Exemplify cultural, political, economic or social heritage of the community;
• Represent an association with a notable person, or the work of a notable person;
• Represent a typical example or association with a particular ethnic group;
• Represent a unique example of an event in Broomfield’s history;
• Enhance a sense of identity of the community; or
• Consist of an established and familiar natural setting or visual feature of the community.
Broomfield is a Certified Local Government (CLG). CLG status allows for a partnership of local interests with State and National services and programs.
Surveying is a systematic method of documenting historic resources through fieldwork and research. Each resource is documented with photographs, maps, and a written description on an inventory form.
A survey does not require approval by the property owner, although support and involvement by property owners is encouraged and helps to ensure all available information is documented.
In general, surveys usually begin at the reconnaissance level. After additional research and identification of property types, a smaller number of properties are selected for time-and-research-heavy intensive surveys.
Inclusion within a survey can greatly benefit owners of a wide range of potentially historic properties. For example, buildings with high levels of architectural significance, or association with important events or people, can be documented as eligible for listing as a local historic landmark, or in the Colorado or National Registries.
Properties determined as eligible may choose to apply for a local, State, or National designation.
Designated properties may qualify and apply for State or Federal tax credits for rehabilitation, restoration, or reconstruction work that meets the Secretary of the Interior's Standards.
No. There is no fee for inclusion within a designated survey. Survey work is funded through grants and the City's General Fund.
No. A survey is a method to document the community’s historical resources. No restrictions or requirements are imposed on property owners. A survey is a public document.
A landmark is a place, structure, feature, or object that has been designated by the City Council as historically or architecturally significant by itself or because it is associated with events, persons, or trends significant in the history of the City. Landmark designation recognizes individual properties, protecting them so their unique qualities and characteristics are maintained and preserved.
A property owner, any board or commission in Broomfield, or the City Council may nominate a property, area, building, or structure for historic landmark designation. Property owner permission is required as part of the application. Any nomination excluding the property owner’s permission will be rejected by the City.
The application is reviewed by staff, finalized and presented to the Historic Landmark Board at a public hearing for recommendation to City Council. City Council holds a public hearing and takes final action on a landmark designation application.
Local historic landmarks must be maintained adequately and historic features preserved. Modifications, alterations, and the removal or demolition of a landmarked resource requires approval by the Historic Landmark Board through a Certificate of Appropriateness.
Please contact the Broomfield Historic Landmark Board and staff liaison.
No. Landmark designation means that changes must be publicly reviewed to ensure that the landmark's special qualities are not lost through inappropriate alterations.
If you want to demolish your home or significantly alter the exterior characteristics of your home or build a new structure your plans would go through a review called a “Certificate of Appropriateness” (COA) by the Historic Landmark Board. Normal maintenance and repair are exempt from COA review. The Board works closely with owners both before and after designation to develop design solutions that respect the landmark's significance while acknowledging its ongoing use.
The City's COA review criteria are specified in the City's preservation ordinance and the city considers the guidelines of the National Register in their COA review.
A historic district possesses a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, buildings, structures, or objects united historically or aesthetically by plan or physical development.
District designation contributes to retaining neighborhood character by discouraging demolition of historic buildings and encouraging their reuse and sensitive renovation with tax incentives and zoning code flexibility. It also helps ensure that new construction is compatible with the existing neighborhood.
Neighborhood character or feel is an important factor attracting people to neighborhoods. Local designation provides a "tool" to help retain neighborhood character, keeping the neighborhood special and a desirable place to live. Studies have shown that people are more willing to invest in locally designated neighborhoods because of the greater degree of certainty that designated neighborhoods will retain their special character.
Numerous studies have shown a variety of benefits for locally designated historic districts including property values in locally designated neighborhoods increasing more or holding their property value better than in comparable non-designated neighborhoods.
You will not be told what color you can paint your house or what can be done inside your house. You can change the windows in your home although if you have historic wood frame windows often times the most economical choice is to restore rather than to replace those windows.
If you want to demolish your home or significantly alter the exterior characteristics of your home or build a new structure your plans would go through a review called a “Certificate of Appropriateness” (COA) by the Historic Landmark Board. Normal maintenance and repair are exempt from COA review. The goal of the COA review is to maintain neighborhood character by discouraging and/or preventing the sort of changes that over time can erode what makes a neighborhood special.
Yes. All buildings within a district are subject to Certificate of Appropriateness review but not to the same extent. At the time of approval, the structures within a local district will be identified as either contributing (historic) or non-contributing (non-historic). Generally, a building must be at least 50 years old and retain its historic features and feel to be considered as a contributing resource. The review of proposed significant exterior changes or demolition of a non-contributing structure will be focused on the potential impact to the neighborhood rather than on the individual building.
Yes. Inclusion in a historic district requires approval by all affected property owners. Public participation is an important part of any City process.
As population grows and development pressure increases, local citizens actually have less influence on how their communities evolve – unless there is some sort of local design review in place that oversees development. Creating a historic district is a way of singling out the special places within Broomfield. It helps ensure the unique attributes that define those will remain for future generations and preventing their gradual erosion.
Historic districts encourage reinvestment. When you are part of a historic district, you have some certainty that any new construction or renovation activity will be respectful of the existing character of the community and its architecture. Historic district regulations are quality assurance standards, so that if you invest in your building, you are assured that your investment won’t be negated by a thoughtless renovation next door. Local historic districts encourage better design. There is generally a greater sense of cohesion, more innovative use of materials, and greater public appeal within historic districts than in areas without historic designations.