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notifying new owners of historic district regulations


We have had an increasing number of new home owners make changes to their property and plead ignorance of the regulations. Does anyone have any ideas/ examples of ways to alert buyers that the property is within a historic district and that changes require review?
I have heard of cities that offer "classes" for real estate agents on the historic districts. I may just be pessimistic, but I doubt agents want to take on any extra responsibilities and short or requiring a lie detector test I think that the owners response will still be that they didn't know. The "it's easier to seek forgiveness than permission" adage will still hold true.
With several large districts, it just isn't possible for me to keep on top of resident turnover and we have tried the neighborhood association newsletters with little success.
Any more ideas on what works or what doesn't?


Cyburbian Emeritus
Educations and Outreach are always best. A community I used to work for actually went so far as to record a legal notice with the register of deeds. That way it showed up on the title documents provided to the buyer prior to closing on the property. Of course, then you have to assume that people read their legal documents before investing six figures, right?


I've had good experiences with speaking to realty companies. It's a great opportunity to pass out lists of the landmarks and maps of the districts, as well as defuse some worries about landmark designation.

I think it's a good idea to record a landmarking agreement so the status is apparent to those who look. If someone sues because their work needs to be reversed, then the title company is liable if they didn't find the landmarking agreement. Publishing landmark lists in a local newspaper or on the city website could also work well.