This collection of resources covers laws that impact preservation at the federal, state, and local level. At the local level, the strongest defense commissions have against accusations of arbitrary and capricious decisions is to consistently follow established review procedures. Examples of legal topics include procedural due process, takings, appeals, property rights, and economic hardship.
Preservation planning is a proactive way to provide for the protection of a community’s historic resources and character. A community that includes a preservation component as part of long-range planning recognizes the importance of local heritage and the built environment.
Among other things, a preservation plan identifies and articulates community preservation goals, lets current and future property owners know how the community intends to grow, helps eliminate confusion about the purpose of the local preservation ordinance, educates the public about the community’s history and heritage, creates an agenda for future preservation work and creates a way to measure preservation’s progress. Preservation plans also encourage economic development and strengthen political understanding of historic preservation policies.
How is a preservation plan adopted? It is a collaborative effort between historic preservation commission members, commission staff, other municipal departments, elected officials, and community advocates. Consultants are typically hired to draft the plan, which is reviewed at public input forums. Funding, implementation and scope are all challenging facets of adopting a preservation plan, but there are numerous examples of success stories around the country.
Design Review is one of the most important responsibilities of a local preservation commission. The commissioner is tasked with reviewing changes to historic places in accordance with a set of standards or guidelines. This collection of resources offers information about applying those standards and guidelines for the best outcomes.
Commissions are responsible for the designation and preservation of local landmarks and districts. To ensure that local preservation ordinances are respected and upheld, they must be consistently enforced. This set of resources examines reasons violations occur, how to identify infractions, what actions to take when violations occur, and how to deter future violations. Articles will also explore how communities have strengthened enforcement through education, communication, and collaboration.
This set of resources primarily covers the benefits and process of designating resources at the local level. Local designation is typically the most effective way to protect a community’s historic resources. These resources cover the designation of local landmarks as well as districts, and breaks down the designation process beginning with identifying historic properties and sites through historic resources surveys and determining eligibility based on the data collected.
Historic preservation commissioners often get bogged down in the day-to-day administration of their local ordinance and forget that one of their key responsibilities is to be an effective spokesperson for historic preservation in their community. This collection of resources helps commissions communicate effectively with a wide range of audiences, whether it’s building support for designations, defending sometimes unpopular decisions, or working with reluctant elected officials.
Across the country, construction from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and even 1980s is now eligible for designation, yet many communities struggle with how to understand and manage these resources. From urban centers to small towns, recent past architecture tells the story of social change, technological innovation, and new planning perspectives. Recognizing resources of the recent past can be the key to engaging new audiences and revitalizing preservation efforts. This collection of educational resources will help local commissions advocate for resources of the recent past.
Local government programs have the ability to be leaders in creating a more inclusive historic preservation. NAPC hopes that this collection of resources empowers local programs to incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility into the work of local preservation.
As many communities begin to see the challenges of climate change grow nearer, it is imperative to provide tools on how to adapt, mitigate, plan, recover, fund, and thrive in a time of uncertainty. These resources are designed for commissioners, staff members, policymakers, and community members. They are collected from a wide range of sources including federal, non-profit, and local governments, and also includes other languages where available.
As a member of the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions, you become part of a national network of historic preservation commissions, boards of architectural review, staff, local and state preservation nonprofits, and residents of historic districts who value their historic resources.Learn More
NAPC is honored to serve as a national voice for local preservation. This would not be possible without support from members and partners around the country. Learn more about how you can further our mission to build strong local preservation programs and leaders through education, training and advocacy.Donate