Other Land Use Laws
Local Preservation Laws
| Authority to Regulate Property | Historic Designations | Reviewable Actions |
| Maintenance Requirements | Economic Hardship | Appeals and Enforcement | Other Land Use Laws
Preservation Law 101
| Federal Preservation Laws | State Preservation Laws | Local Preservation Laws | Constitutional Issues |
Historic preservation objectives can be furthered through other land use techniques, such as the establishment of conservation districts, the adoption of a transferable development rights program, view protection laws, or a city-wide demolition review program. In addition, through comprehensive planning and the fine-tuning of zoning and subdivision laws, communities can insure that its land use laws support rather than undermine efforts to protect its historic resources.
Conservation districts, generally established as a zoning overlay, protect character-defining streetscapes in older areas through the regulation of changes to height, bulk, and mass of individual buildings. As with historic districts, conservation districts have preservation or conservation as their primary goals. However, the focus is on preserving the area's traditional character rather than historic fabric.
Transferable development right programs protect historic resources by shifting development pressure away from historic areas. Owners of designated historic resources sell their unusual development rights to commercial developers, who in turn, can use those rights to build larger buildings in other areas within a city. The money received from the sale of those rights can be used by the historic property owner to maintain the property.
View protection laws can ensure that development near historic resources maintain a resource's historic views or viewshed. Alternatively, they can ensure that views of a historic resource, such as a capitol building or other visual landmark are protected.
Demolition review programs provide a safety net for a community’s historic resources by requiring the referral of all applications for demolition permits of buildings over a certain age to a historic preservation commission. If the building qualifies as historic, then the property may be protected through official designation as a historic resource or its owner may be required to participate in a demolition delay process, whereby the owner and community officials work together to develop solutions that would save the building.
Protecting Older Neighborhoods through Conservation District Programs
This booklet provides a basic overview of conservation districts and the conservation district ordinance. It includes helpful charts that outline the pros and cons of conservation districting and the differences between local historic districts and neighborhood conservation districts. It also includes an annotated list of jurisdictions that currently operate conservation district programs.