Heritage Preservation

Program Description

The goal of the Heritage Preservation Program is to implement the public policy for the preservation of the historic environment of Flagstaff, the work of this program includes historic property inventories, landmark and historic district formation and maintenance, design review, and impact analysis. In addition, the work of this program includes Section 106 reviews for all projects of the federal government, including projects licensed or funded by the federal government. Program staff works with the State Historic Preservation Office and the Heritage Preservation Commission on heritage preservation efforts.

Heritage Preservation Applications


In order to submit a request for a grant, a cultural resource study, a landmark overlay or a design review request in the Downtown, Landmark or Townsite Overlay. You must submit a Historic Preservation Commission Master Application in addition to other development applications, including site plans, sign permits, building permits, and demolition permits.  This application was last revised in June 2019. 

Applications that require the review of the Heritage Preservation Commission must be submitted and the fee paid by noon on the 1st Friday of the month at the Community Development Counter in City Hall.  Complete applications submitted by this date will be scheduled for review on the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 4 pm to 6 pm in the City Council Chambers at 211 W Aspen Avenue.

Property owners or their representative should plan to attend the Commission meeting in order to present supplemental material and answer questions.  The Commission may delay the approval of applications if the information is incomplete or there is no one available to answer their questions.

NOTE FOR PROPERTIES IN THE TOWNSITE OVERLAY: For any new construction, addition, or other exterior alteration, the City of Flagstaff shall prepare, and the Applicant shall post for a minimum of 15 days, a Notice of Public Hearing for any application subject to review before the Historic Preservation Commission within the district. Such notices shall be conspicuously posted at the back of sidewalk on the subject site and on property line at the alley. In a case of multiple street frontages or alley frontages, additional notices shall be similarly posted on each additional street or alley.  Please contact the Heritage Preservation Officer for a notice template and submittal instructions at least 20 days before your possible hearing date.

Herit​age Preservation Programs

Historic District Design Review

Projects in the local historic districts are reviewed by the Heritage Preservation Commission for consistency with the established guidelines for each district. The Commission meets monthly and this review can be accomplished while other City reviews are taking place. On smaller conforming projects, including signs, consent approval is granted by the Historic Preservation Officer.

Historic Facades & Signs Grant Program

The Flagstaff City Council established this grant program to assist in the preservation of historically important properties within the community (Guidelines). Grants are approved by the Commission for reservation, restoration, reconstruction, or rehabilitation of historic properties. The work must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and eligible work must have a public benefit, such as being visible from a public right-of-way (Application). It has been used for the treatment of porches, store fronts, historic signage, cornices, windows, and roofing.

Cultural Resource Studies

Per Flagstaff Zoning Code Section 10-.30.30, cultural resource studies are required for all public and private developments involving:(1)    Properties listed on the Flagstaff Register of Historic Places; or
(2)    Properties listed on the Arizona Register of Historic Places; or
(3)    Properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places; or
(4)    Undeveloped land; or
(5)    Structures over 50 years old at the time of application.

If you have been advised through the review of a permit or project application that a cultural resource study is required, you will need to contact hire a qualified professional to prepare it. It will then be submitted to the Historic Preservation Officer. 

There are three levels of cultural resource study that may be prepared a letter report, a Phase I report, and a Phase 2 report. Phase 1 and 2 reports must be presented to and accepted by the Flagstaff Heritage Preservation Commission. 

Heritage Preservation Projects

Landmarks Design Review Overlay District

The Heritage Preservation Commission is actively seeking properties that can be placed in this new floating historic district. The district provides local recognition and affords preservation of historic properties according to established regulations. Only historic properties with willing property owners are eligible. At present, the Commission is working primarily with City-owned historic properties, though several willing private properties are included. This is expected to be a multi-year project with eight to twelve properties being included each year.

Cultural Resource Sensitivity Mapping

A variety of heritage and cultural resources, such as Historic Route 66 alignments, logging railroads, and archeological resources are being mapped for use in long-range planning and development review. Such maps have varying degrees of specificity so as not to disclose the locations of protected resources. You can find the current sensitivity map at www.flagstaffmatters.com.

Heritage Preservation Resource Center


Mark Reavis, AICP, NCARB

Heritage Preservation Officer/Neighborhood Planner

Comprehensive Planning Program