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Utah Preservation Planning Guide


Bicknell gristmill

Does your community want to plan for historic preservation?

Local historic preservation activities are usually more successful when they follow this sequence:

  • Survey
  • Designation
  • Treatment

This approach is both thorough and effective. Unforeseen circumstances may require deviation from this sequence on occasion, but that should occur only rarely.

Public education activities should be a part of each phase. Education make a big difference in the success of a specific project and in creating greater awareness and support for the overall preservation program.

Here are the steps:


  • Do a Reconnaissance-Level Survey.
    This is usually a city-wide, computerized inventory of all the historic buildings in the community.
  • Do Intensive Level Surveys
    This is in-depth historical research on the various owners of an individual building.
  • Do an Archaeological Survey (when applicable—which is not often)

Public education ideas:

  • newspaper articles
  • property owner contacts
  • public involvement
  • presentations to planning commission and city council
  • walking tour booklets
  • tours of historic sites conducted as part of annual community celebrations
  • display of historic photos etc. at city hall or library
  • presentations to school groups 


  • List a building(s) on the community’s Local Historic Sites List
    A Local Historic Sites Lists is created by a local preservation ordinance. Standards for these lists are often lenient and non-restrictive.
  • List a building on the Local Landmark Register
    A Local Landmark Register is also created by a local preservation ordinance. Standards are more exclusive and restrictive.
  • Nominate a building to the National Register of Historic Places
    National Register designations must be coordinated with the SHPO.

Public education ideas:

  • newspaper articles
  • neighborhood meetings for owners of historic properties (to address
  • questions/concerns, etc.)
  • distribution of “fact sheets” to historic property owners so they are aware of the
  • implications of designation
  • presentation of certificates or plaques to property owners by local officials,
  • placement of plaques on buildings
  • walking tours
  • school programs


  • Pre-development: architectural and engineering services
  • Development: rehabilitation of buildings, stabilization of archaeological sites
  • Local Design and Demolition Controls: implemented through a local ordinance
  • Local Preservation Incentives: conditional uses, relaxed building code requirements,
    grants, etc.
  • Tax Incentives for Commercial and Residential Buildings (federal and state tax credit programs)

Public education ideas:

  • annual preservation awards for outstanding rehab projects
  • tours through completed projects
  • ribbon-cuttings involving local and state officials and the press
  • newspaper articles
  • “rehab in progress” signs displayed on site
  • exhibit of architectural drawings at city hall or library
  • “before” and “after” photos fornewspaper or exhibit
  • coordination with planning commission and city council on planning and zoning-related issues