historic preservation

Preservation Planning 

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Planning and Policy

In response to increasing public interest in historic preservation, historic districts, and related programs, the Tacoma City Council provided funding in its 2009-10 Biennial Budget for a comprehensive update to the City’s historic preservation plan and policies. 

The Historic Preservation Element of the Comprehensive Plan was adopted on June 14, 2011 by City Council Ordinance 27996.

To download the the Historic Preservation Element, or any other Comprehensive Plan Elements, please visit the City's Comprehensive Plan website here

What is a Preservation Plan?

A historic preservation plan is a document that sets forth policies and a course of action for treatment of cultural resources within a community. It is an element of the comprehensive plan


Purpose of a Preservation Plan

Preservation plans are designed to recognize our unique historic and cultural resources, create strategies for their care, and capitalize on their social and economic potential.

Typically included within the preservation plan are goals, policy statements, and an action agenda. 
These include:

  • Defining a shared vision of Tacoma’s history
  • Identification of important themes and types of resources that should be protected
  • Policies regarding historic district development and citywide historic interpretive programs

An effective preservation plan:

  1. Clearly states the goals of the City Historic Preservation Program to the community and city staff
  2. Provides guidance to current and future property owners regarding the future growth of the City and protection of its historic resources
  3. Eliminates confusion regarding the purpose, meaning and content of the historic preservation ordinances
  4. Identifies and eliminates inconsistencies between various City policies that affect historic resources
  5. Educates and informs the community about the importance and role of preservation in Tacoma
  6. Develops an agenda for future preservation activities as well as a means to measure progress
  7. Coordinates issues relating to zoning, tourism, development patterns, and design issues that also involve historic resources
  8. Strengthens the relationship between economic development and historic preservation


Call Reuben McKnight at 253-591-5220 for more information.