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Historic Preservation Laws

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What Does "Historic Preservation" Mean?

A qualified historical preservation property is any structure or property and their related sites with a significant importance to the history, architecture, or culture of an area as noted by an appropriate governmental jurisdiction.

What Protections Does a Historically Preserved Building Have?

Generally, historically preserved buildings have a different standard of building regulations. These regulations, while different, still require historically preserved buildings to comply with safety codes to provide reasonable safety from fire, seismic forces, and other hazards while also offering reasonable availability to and usability by the disabled.

Why Have a Different Set of Rules for Historically Preserved Buildings?

These unique set of rules are meant to provide for the preservation of the historical value of qualified historical buildings or structures. If alterations or modifications are necessary to preserve the structure and meet general building safety regulations, the newly written guidelines will apply.

How Are Historically Preserved Building Codes Established?

A board of commissioners for historic building preservation oversees and produces alternative building standards. These standards are then submitted to the state building standards commission for approval.

Are There Any Other Incentives to Register a Property as a Historic?

The government often creates a wide variety of incentives to give property owners motivation to repair and rehabilitate historical buildings rather than demolish them. In addition to the modified building codes, other incentives include:

  • Federal tax credits for rehabilitation of qualified historical properties
  • Property tax abatement programs
  • Tax deductions for preservation easements
  • Architectural, repair, and rehabilitation grants
  • Historic preservation property may qualify for low interest loans

How Does a Building Become a Historically Preserved Building or Structure?

The board for historic preservation compiles a list of buildings or structures that consist primarily of national, state, or local significance, which then may be placed on the state or national register of historic places. Some criteria usually taken into consideration are:

  • The property is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the patterns of our history.
  • The property is associated with the lives of people significant in our past.
  • The property embodies a distinctive type, period, method of construction, or high artistic values.

Do I Need an Attorney?

Registering a building as a historic site can be difficult and time consuming. An experienced real estate attorney can help you complete all the necessary paperwork and guide you through the historical designation process.

Photo of page author Matthew Izzi

, LegalMatch Legal Writer and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 05-22-2018 06:38 PM PDT

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