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Design Review

Design review is an approval process that projects involving historic properties must complete prior to the start of work or issuance of permits.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission reviews projects for historic compatibility at its regular public meetings, and, if the work meets the standards for historic treatment, issues a certificate of approval.

In general, any exterior work on City Landmarks that is visible from public rights of way requires design review.  In the North Slope Historic District, exterior changes that require building permits also require design review.Elks

Design Review Process

Most simple projects take two to four weeks for the Commission to review from the point of application. More complex projects can require several meetings, including informational briefings during design development.


Review the Standards and Guidelines for Historic Buildings

The Landmarks Preservation Commission reviews projects according to its standards, which include design guidelines and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. In some cases, pre-application meetings or Commission briefings are beneficial for larger or more complex projects.


Download Fill Out the Appropriate Application Form

Links to Residential and Commercial/Multifamily design review application forms are in the right hand column. 

Submit Your Plans for Preliminary Review

By submitting your plans to  to the Permit Intake Center (Planning and Development Services) you are ensuring your application meets applicable codes and avoids delays.  Generally, variances and conditional use permits must be obtained prior to Landmarks Commission review.


Submit Your Plans to the Historic Preservation Office

Electronic submittal is preferred, but you may also do this by regular mail or person. Submit the application form and any supporting materials, and deliver to the address below along with the application fee payable to the City Treasurer.  Incomplete applications, or requests for clarification, may result in the item being moved to a subsequent agenda.  If you have any questions about the submittal requirements, please contact us by phone or email (see below).



Once your application is received, staff will review it for completeness and schedule it for the next available agenda.  The Landmarks Commission meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. Applications must be complete two weeks in advance of the desired meeting date.  You will be notified when your application has been scheduled for review.


Present Your Application to the Commission

It is highly recommended that applicant be present to respond to questions or recommendations from the Commission.


Apply for Permits

Once the Commission has granted approval, you may obtain permits.  In some cases, land use review or plans review may occur concurrently with the historic design review process.



Historic Preservation Office

Planning and Development Services

747 Market Street

Room 345
(253) 591-5220



For questions about building code and zoning, please call the Planning Helpline at 253-591-5030. 

Applications for Design Review

Residential Application


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Commercial Application


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