Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission

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Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I nominate a property, or group of properties as a Local Landmark, Local Landmark Heritage District or in the National Register of Historic Places?

How long does it take to nominate a building or property as a Local Landmark or for the National Register?

What are the effects of designation as a Local Landmark, Local Landmark Heritage District, or in the National Register?

Are there any funds available to help me fix up my historic property?

What is a Certified Local Government (CLG)?

What is the Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission (LHPC)?

When and where are Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission (LHPC) meetings held? What kinds of materials related to historic properties does the city have available?

How do I nominate a property, or group of properties as a Local Landmark, Local Landmark Heritage District or in the National Register of Historic Places?

Begin by contacting the city’s Preservation Administrator, for Local Landmarks and Landmark Heritage Districts, or the State Historic Preservation Office, for potential National Register nominations. They can tell you whether your property, or group of properties, has the potential to be listed at either the Local or National level and can give you the information and materials you need to begin the nomination process.

Many different kinds of properties of all shapes and sizes are listed as historic at the local and national level. As long as your property, or group of properties, meets at least one of the four standards that comprise the National Register Criteria for Evaluation, there is a good chance it  will be  eligible for nomination as a Local Landmark and/or in the National Register. The Criteria pertain to the age, integrity, and historical significance of the property. Generally a property must be at least 50 years old to qualify for recognized historic status.

A good source for understanding the Criteria and their application to individual properties, or groupings of properties, is the National Register bulletin How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation.

 How long does it take to nominate a building or property as a Local Landmark or for the National Register?

The length of time varies. Nomination of a Local Landmark or Landmark Heritage District can take anywhere from 6 months to a year, depending upon the project. Once the landmark application is submitted, the case must be presented before the Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission (LHPC). If the LHPC recommends the nomination, the case then moves on to the Planning Board and finally the City Council. Please visit the online version of the Omaha Municipal Code and see Chapter 24, Article II, Division 2 for details on the local nomination process.

Those seeking National Register nomination should generally allow one-and-a-half years from the time of initiating the process to the granting of final approvals. Please visit the National Register of Historic Places Program: Fundamentals page on the National Park Service’s website for more information on the designation process.

What are the effects of designation as a Local Landmark, Local Landmark Heritage District, or in the National Register?

Listing as a Local Landmark or Landmark Heritage District grants a property, or grouping of properties, formal recognition as important components of Omaha’s historic built fabric. Such listing also provides protection from demolition or from alterations that may dramatically change the appearance of a historic property. Owners of locally landmarked properties must seek approval from the Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission when any visible modifications or additions are made to a Landmark or Landmark Heritage District. Please visit the online version of the Omaha Municipal Code and see Chapter 24, Article II, Division 3 for details on the Special Work Restrictions that apply to landmarked properties.

Listing in the National Register of Historic Places is primarily honorific and does not grant the same amount of protection as that available for locally landmarked properties. According to the National Park Service, such listing in the National Register “provides formal recognition of a property’s historical, architectural, or archeological significance based on national standards used by every state.” One of the many benefits for listing is that a property becomes eligible for a variety of preservation-specific funding sources in the form of tax credits and grant opportunities. As well, the property is given special consideration if a project is proposed that requires federal money. This is known as Section 106 Review. Generally, listing in the National Register does not prevent a property owner from making changes to their property or from demolishing it.

Are there any funds available to help me fix up my historic property?

There are a variety of funding sources available. Tax credit programs such as the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives and the Nebraska Energy Office Tax Incentives can be used by property owners to offset the cost of work done to rehabilitate or upgrade certain components of their properties. Another option is the Valuation Incentive Program, which freezes the assessed valuation of a property to its pre-rehabilitation rate for eight years after work is complete.

The Federal Historic Tax Incentives program and the Valuation Incentive Program (VIP) can only be utilized if a property is listed individually or as part of a district in the National Register of Historic Places. The Federal Historic Tax Credit program applies only to income-producing properties. The Nebraska Energy Office program can be employed more generally for existing homes that are principal residences and/or secondary homes.

These are just some of the many options available. All of the financial assistance programs for historic properties come with their own list of requirements and restrictions. The city’s Preservation Administrator and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) can guide you toward which option fits best with your specific rehabilitation project.

What is a Certified Local Government (CLG)?

A Certified Local Government is a partnership between a local government, the State of Nebraska (State Historic Preservation Office), and the National Park Service, which allows a city like Omaha to administer the National Historic Preservation Program at a local level.

There are a number of requirements any city must adhere to as a CLG. One of the most important is the presence of a qualified historic preservation commission. In Omaha this commission is known as the Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission (LHPC). The LHPC works alongside the Preservation Administrator  to lead and/or participate in local preservation initiatives, including  the identification, evaluation, registration, and preservation of historic properties within the city’s boundaries.

What is the Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission (LHPC)?

The Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission (LHPC) is a 9-member board appointed by the Mayor to  oversee historic preservation in Omaha.

The main duties of the LHPC are:

  • To determine the eligibility of a proposed Local Landmark and/or Local Landmark Heritage District
  • To review any proposed changes to the exterior and/or interior of a Local Landmark or Local

The primary purpose of the LHPC is:

  • To designate, preserve, protect, enhance and perpetuate those structures and districts which reflect significant elements of the city's heritage;
  • To foster civic pride in the beauty and accomplishments of the past;
  • To stabilize or improve the aesthetic and economic vitality and values of such structures and districts;
  • To protect and enhance the city's attraction to tourists and visitors;
  • To promote the use of outstanding structures or districts for the education, stimulation and welfare of the people of the city; and
  • To promote and encourage continued private ownership and utilization of such buildings and other structures now so owned and used, to the extent that the objectives listed above can be attained under such a policy.

The Omaha Municipal code contains specific requirements and procedures for the Landmarks Heritage Preservation Board. Please visit the online version of the Omaha Municipal Code and see Chapter 24, Article II for the Landmarks Heritage Preservation ordinance.

When and where are Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission (LHPC) meetings held?

Meetings take place on the second Wednesday of each month in the Civic Center’s 7th Floor conference room. Meetings are open to the public and all are welcome to attend.

What kinds of materials related to historic properties does the city have available?

  1. Property files: Files on properties within Douglas County that are designated Local Landmarks and/or are included in the National Register are maintained by the city's Preservation Administrator at the City Planning Department offices.  These files contain the property's or district's application for designation. They may also contain images, building plans, maps, newspaper clippings, or other materials related to the property or district.

     Many of these materials are available digitally through this website by visiting the property or district's individual page under the National Register or Local Landmarks tabs. 

  2. Building Plans: Building plans for commercial properties dating from 1888 through 1937 are available on Microfilm. The City does not maintain building plans for residential properties. To view the plans on site, contact the City's Preservation Administrator.
  3. These plans are also available digitally through this website under the Collections tab.

Contact the city’s Preservation Administrator (402-444-5105 ext. 2065) for more information.