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A Conservation District is intended to slow radical change in a neighborhood by reviewing only major events like demolition and new construction. In comparison, a historic district regulates all exterior changes and best serves districts with high architectural integrity. Often a Conservation District is appropriate when there is significant development pressure or when the inventory of buildings to be protected is historic but not individually of high or unique architectural value.

Design Guidelines

A Conservation District has less regulation than a full historic district, affecting only moving, demolition or new construction of a principal or accessory building. After three years, the owners of property within the district are provided an opportunity to object to its elevation to a full historic district. If a majority of owners object in writing, then the district continues as a Conservation District.


How to Make Changes

In a Conservation District, if you need to move, demolish or build a new building, you are required to go before the Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness. By law, this process can take no more than 30 days after a complete application is received.

A Conservation District does not require the review of minor changes such as paint color, porch enclosure, window replacement or additions. Accessory buildings like garages and storage buildings do need certificates of appropriateness. Neighborhood residents in each district have helped create design guidelines tailored to the architecture of their area. More information about appropriate design is available in the guidelines that have been adopted for Prospect Hill and McDoel Conservation Districts.