New Grant Program to Encourage Historic Preservation

New Historic Preservation Grant Boulder City, Nevada

If you haven’t heard, on February 22nd the City Council approved a new Historic Preservation Grant Program intended to help homeowners within our Historic District maintain their homes according to specific guidelines.

In total for the upcoming Fiscal Year budget 2022, a sum of $100,000 will be set aside for individual homeowners to receive up to $10,000 in funds for exterior repairs to their homes if they meet certain criteria. The guidelines are as follows:

  • Up to 50% reimbursement with a maximum grant of $10,000.
  • For exterior improvements only.
  • All work (whether receiving funding or not) must comply with the Secretary of Interior Standards for Preservation.
  • Following completion of the work, the property must contribute to the historical integrity of the historic district (either preserving its status or as a result of the work, it will be added).
  • Applicants enter into a 20-year agreement to maintain the property’s historical character.

This is a project that the Historic Preservation Committee has been working on with City Staff since the fall of last year. The goal is to help incentivize homeowners to help maintain the historic character of their homes, most especially towards the desire that the city maintains as many ‘contributing’ homes as possible.

What do we mean by that? We told you HERE back in September of 2020 about a report that had recently been completed of all our ‘inventory’ of properties within the Historic District in Boulder City. At the time we shared with you the news of some concern, which is that actually fewer than 50% of our residential and commercial properties within the Historic District boundary are in fact considered ‘contributing’ properties. Falling below that 50% benchmark means that we could potentially lose our designation as a Historic District according to the National Register of Historic Places.

So, this new grant gives homeowners who either have a currently contributing home or a non-contributing home within the district could gain access to these funds, as long as when the work is complete the home qualifies as a ‘contributing’ home within the Historic District. You’ll note there are some meaningful stipulations when you did deep into the guidelines. Homeowners have to abide by all of the standards laid out by the NRHP for the work. The homeowner must lay out a detailed budget of all the work that will be performed and also how they plan to maintain the property over time. Lastly is that with these funds comes the requirement that the home cannot be changed substantially then for a full 20 years, and this requirement will carry forward even of the property is sold.

All grants must be approved by both the Historic Preservation Committee as well as the City Council.

We’ve told you also about several fact-finding and educational meetings the City held last spring HERE. There has been talk of creating a City Ordinance that may regulate what homeowners within the Historic District can or cannot do with their properties.

So, one way to view this program is that the City is attempting to first use the ‘carrot and not the stick’ to help homeowners improve the number of contributing properties within those areas of town.

If we are serious about maintaining our designation as Historic Boulder City, and I think we should take this very seriously, then we will hope that this does indeed help inspire those eligible homeowners to bring their homes into ‘contributing’ status, where reasonably possible. We know it’s not an easy way to remodel or work on one’s home, but we’re glad for the opportunity to see how this is received and used.

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