City Historic Designations and Design Review

MAP OF CITY HISTORIC DESIGNATIONS (730 KB) - Added on 01/31/2013
This map includes the locally-designated Historic Preservation Zones and the Neighborhood Preservation Zones.


City Historic Preservation Zones (HPZs)

Historic Preservation Zones (HPZs) are City of Tucson zoning overlays enabled by a 1972 ordinance. Most of these areas are also nationally designated Historic Districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places. There are six designated HPZs within the City, which require compliance with specific development standards and design guidelines for exterior alterations to existing historic and non-historic buildings and for new construction, including work that does not require a building permit. The Rio Nuevo and Downtown (RND) Zone is another zoning overlay which requires that exterior alterations of historic buildings follow national standards for rehabilitating historic properties.


Design Review Process

Reviews of proposed building plans within Historic Preservation Zones (HPZs) apply general Technical Standards and also specific Design Guidelines, and involve neighborhood HPZ Advisory Boards, the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission, and the Director of the Planning and Development Services Department. Appeals and proposed demolitions of historic buildings within these zones require additional review and approval by the Mayor & Council during public hearings. In the Rio Nuevo and Downtown (RND) Zone, review by the Historical Commission is required for exterior alterations to historic buildings, and additional approval by the Mayor & Council is required for demolitions of historic buildings.

Historic Preservation Zone Review Application Package (456 KB)

Historic Preservation Zone Review Checklist (658 KB)

Technical Standards

Design Guidelines

Fort Lowell Historic Preservation Zone (1.36 MB)

West University Historic Preservation Zone (1.92 MB)

Barrio Historico (Barrio Viejo) Historic Preservation Zone (1.75 MB)

Armory Park Historic Preservation Zone (1.53 MB)

El Presidio Historic Preservation Zone (1.56 MB)


Advisory Boards and Commissions

Armory Park Historic Zone Advisory Board

Barrio Historico Historic Zone Advisory Board

El Presidio Historic Zone Advisory Board

Fort Lowell Historic Zone Advisory Board

West University Historic Zone Advisory Board

Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission


Neighborhood Preservation Zones (NPZs)

Neighborhood Preservation Zones (NPZs) are zoning overlays enabled by a 2008 ordinance, and are available to neighborhoods within the 1953 City limits that are designated National Register Historic Districts, or are eligible for that designation.

Design Review Process

Within Neighborhood Preservation Zones (NPZs), new construction on residential (R)-zoned properties is required to be compatible with surrounding historic residential buildings, in accordance with specific design guidelines for each NPZ, to ensure that residential infill development fits with the unique historic characters of these historic neighborhoods.

Jefferson Park Neighborhood Preservation Zone (4.94 MB)

Feldmans Neighborhood Preservation Zone (15.9 MB)

City Historic Landmarks

Individual properties in Tucson designated as City Historic Landmarks. This type of designation of locally significant historic properties is initiated and approved by the Mayor and Council. Learn more: City Historic Landmarks

City Historic Landmark Signs

Tucson has a unique character, history, and identity reflected in its historic and iconic signs. In 2011, the Mayor and Council passed an ordinance to amend the Sign Code, encouraging the maintenance, restoration and reuse of historic signs. Go here to learn more: Historic Landmark Signs Preservation Program.


Archaeological Sensitivity Zones

Eleven areas within the City of Tucson are designated as sensitive areas for ground disturbances because of known concentrations of significant archaeological sites. In these zones, excavation permits to dig in City Right-of-Ways require archaeological monitoring of all digging unless a waiver is provided by the City Historic Preservation Office.