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Historic Protection Overlay Zones

Learn more about Historic Protection Overlay Zones in Albuquerque.

What Are Historic Protection Overlay (HPO) Zones?

Albuquerque's Historic Protection Overlay zones were created by the City Council to protect areas of historical, architectural or cultural significance. To ensure that building projects in historic zones are compatible with traditional neighborhood character, in most instances property owners must receive a Certificate of Appropriateness from the City before they begin work. These approvals are granted by the Landmarks Commission (LC) or by City staff for the LC. Penalties including additional fees, public hearings, fines, and court action may be imposed for failure to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness.

HPO Zone Maps

Historic Standards & Guidelines

Certificates of Appropriateness

A Certificate of Appropriateness is required for:

  • All exterior alterations, including porches, roofs, and windows
  • An addition to your building
  • New construction
  • Demolition of a building or part of a building
  • Erecting a fence
  • Placement of any manufactured or pre-built structure
  • Change in exterior materials - call the LC Sr. Planner
  • Erecting a business sign

No Certificate of Appropriateness is required (but building permits may still be necessary) for:

  • Exterior Maintenance for the purpose of repairing deterioration of any architectural feature or any part of the structure.
    • The work must be identical in design, size, texture, color and material in order to restore the feature or structure to its original condition. This does not include replacing roofing, windows, doors, etc. Repainting.
    • It is recommended that you consider historically appropriate paint colors. Re-stuccoing. Some finishes are more historically accurate than others. Please consult the City staff to assist you in obtaining appropriate information.
  • Interior maintenance, alteration or demolition that does not affect or alter the exterior appearance of the structure.

How to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness:

There are two levels of review for a Certificate of Appropriateness, and approval is based on the Standards and Guidelines for the Historic Protection Overlay zone. Contact staff for help identifying your zone.

  • Landmarks Commission Public Hearing - This is for proposed major alterations, new construction, and demolition for any property listed as Contributing or Significant within the Historic Protection Overlay Zone. Obtain an application and have the Staff explain the submission requirements to you. Additional consultations with staff may be required, depending on the size and scope of your project. Public notice is given prior to the hearing.
  • Landmarks Commission Staff Decision - This is for proposed work that does not require a building permit, fences, and other smaller alterations to sites and structures. An approval can be received in a few days or not longer than 10 working days after you submit your application.

Call the Landmarks Commission Staff to discuss your project and to determine what level of review is required. A checklist of items necessary for applications will be given to the applicant during a consultation. Staff will also provide free Consulting Services. Staff members are trained in architecture and architectural history. They are available to give some assistance, and they know of other available resources. They will meet with you to discuss a restoration project, maintenance problem, historically appropriate paint color, or other issues.

Contact Us

For questions surrounding Historic Protection Overlay zones, contact the Senior Planner for historic preservation at 505-924-3927.