To avoid the loss of historic structures, the Landmarks and Urban Conservation Ordinance carefully regulates proposed demolitions in historic zones.

In general, applications for demolitions can only be approved if the Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission determines that the building cannot produce a reasonable economic return as presently con­trolled and that no means of preserving the structure has been found.

If the Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission deny a demolition request, a demolition moratorium is in effect for a period of twelve months.  During this time the Commission and City staff will work with the property owner to find an alternative solution. If the demolition moratorium expires with no solution, City Council can approve demolition if it determines that there is no reasonable way to preserve the building.

Not all buildings within a historic overlay zone are contributing buildings, that is, buildings that have been designated as contributing to the historic, architectural character of the district in the official survey. In the Fourth Ward and Eighth/Forrester Historic Overlay Zones, the Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission has established modified demolition procedures for noncontributing buildings. In these areas, a noncontributing accessory building (a building detached from and smaller than the main building on the same lot) can be demolished without obtaining approval from the Landmarks and Urban Conservation Com­mission.

A noncontributing main building can be demolished without approval from the Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission if plans for a replacement structure have been approved and a building permit has been issued for the new construction. If no replacement structure is planned, a noncontributing main building can only be demolished if the demolition is approved following procedures described above.

Comments: Maryellen Hennessy, Planning Department, Plaza del Sol, 600 Second Street NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, 505-924-3891.