The purpose of a historic district is to preserve the historic character of a neighborhood. This is done in two main ways: 1) retaining and maintaining the historic houses and 2) allowing new construction that is in keeping with the historic character of the historic properties.

For owners of historic properties, this means retaining the historic house and only making exterior alterations or additions that retain the historic features of that house. Owners of historic properties will also be able to access the State income tax dollar-for-dollar credit for approved work as well as zero interest loans from the City of Fort Collins.

For owners of non-historic properties (because not every property within a historic district is historic) this means being able to scrape the older house and replace it, but the style, scale and height of the new house will retain the character of the district. Owners of non-historic properties cannot take advantage of the tax credits or zero-interest loans. However, if the owner of a non-historic property wants to have access to those credits, in some cases the altered house can be restored to its original look (by removing non-historic siding that was added at a later date, for example) at which point the house could qualify as historic within the district.

The house in the image above was built in 2007, but it is a good example of replacement development that was designed with the character of the surrounding neighborhood in mind. According to the county tax assessor website, the house contains 3,102 square feet of livable space, but it still fits in well next to the 1,960 square foot house to one side and the 1,856 square foot house on the other.