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Twenty homes could get historic designation

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By Claire Woodcock

Special to MetroWest Newspapers

Fort Lupton officials could consider 20 homes for historic designation in the future, according to a $21,000 outside consultant study.  

Some homeowners have expressed concern that they won’t be able to renovate their homes as they choose if they receive historic designation.

But such designation also can mean federal tax credits for the homeowners, according to state and local officials.

“Generally if you have a historic property, you have to keep it in line with the historic integrity of the building,” said Alyssa Knutson, a city planner. “A lot of people get worried about that. They think that their property rights are being taken away. But generally, the changes are what you would be making anyway.”

City officials hired SWCA Environmental Consultants to do a study of historic homes in Fort Lupton. Workers interviewed homeowners, took pictures of the homes and conducted research on historical significance. 

No homeowner objected to historical designation, Knutson said.

Homeowners with designated sites deemed eligible that want to make property adjustments would need to get permission from Fort Lupton’s Historic Preservation Board, as required by the U.S. Secretary of Interior, because the property’s exterior appearance would need to be maintained. 

“Preservation of our historic resources helps define our communities and how we are connected to them,” said Mark Rodman, chief preservation programs officer at History Colorado. “These resources make up the look and fabric of where we live, work and play.”

 Rodman called Adams and Weld counties a “microcosm” of what Colorado is experiencing throughout the state in terms of potential building or demolition of historic buildings. 

With population increases in Denver and neighboring suburbs, he said preserving historic properties now could protect these sites from demolitions or unnecessary additions to the area that would change the character of the area.

“In other areas seeing less development, the threat is disinvestment and neglect,” Rodman said.

 City officials must wrap up the study by June 30 to receive full grant funding of $20,756 from History Colorado. A letter to eligible property owners will be sent out if the properties are determined eligible for historic designation. City officials then would plan to meet with the homeowners to discuss details of the designations.