Historic Zoning Review – Information for Applicants and Advisory Board Members

Historic (“H-“) Zoning is an overlay that adds additional building and permit requirements to underlying zoning (e.g. R-1 zoning becomes HR-1). Historic zoning is a city-level historic designation that is separate from any state or federal historic designation. All H-zoned properties are subject to city historic design review for any project that alters the exterior appearance. Historic design review does not replace or supersede any underlying zoning or building code requirements.

Map of historically (H-) zoned properties in Tucson

Design standards for all H-zoned properties (HL or HPZ)

  • Tucson Unified Development Code (UDC) Article 5.8 (PDF)
  • Tucson Technical Standards Manual (TSM) Section 9-02 (PDF)
  • Secretary of the Interior Standards for Historic Properties (Link)

Additional guidelines for individual properties

  • Armory Park HPZ Design Guidelines (PDF)
  • Barrio Historico HPZ Design Guidelines (PDF)
  • El Presidio HPZ Design Guidelines (PDF)
  • Fort Lowell HPZ Design Guidelines (PDF)
  • West University HPZ Design Guidelines (PDF)
  • City Historic Landmarks  (Link) - Refer to individual nomination form for defining characteristics

Application Forms

  • Historic Preservation Zone (and HL) Review Application Package (PDF)
  • Review Checklist (PDF) – Does not include HPZ specific guidelines

Review Process

  1. Permit application* submitted to PDSD and activity number issued. Preliminary zoning review is completed.
  2. Applicant attends pre-submittal meeting for historic review. To make an appointment contact:
    1. Michael Taku, Lead Planner (520) 837-4963, or
    2. Jodie Brown, Historic Preservation Officer (520) 837-6968
  3. Applicant submits Historic Review application and supporting materials
  4. PDSD issues application acceptance letter – Issued when all required materials have been submitted
  5. Applicant attends review by Historic Zone Advisory Board (HZAB)  for properties within HPZs  – Scheduled by City HPO staff and Advisory Board Chair.
  6. Applicant attends review by Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission, Plans Review Subcommittee (PRS) – Scheduled by City HPO staff
  7. PDSD Director decision letter
    1. Full Review – Issued within 60 working days from application acceptance
    2. Minor Review – Issued within 45 working days from application acceptance
  8. (Optional) Appeal of PDSD Director Decision to the Mayor and Council within 14 days of the date on the letter. (See UDC 3.9.2)
  9. Plans with any conditions noted on the set are stamped by PDSD historic staff.
  10. Applicant completes permitting process with PDSD.
  11. If Applicant changes plans after Historic approval (other than meeting required conditions), the project must go back for review by the appropriate boards (HZAB and/or PRS)
  12. PDSD issues permit (Permit must be obtained within one (1) year from decision date)
  13. Applicant may begin construction

* Some projects that do not require a permit must still get historic design approval if the exterior appearance of a property is altered.


Helpful Information for Applicants

  • Photo Guidelines (PDF)
  • Legal Action Reports for reviewing bodies are posted on the City of Tucson website
    • Plans Review Subcommittee of the Tucson-Pima County Historical Society (Link)
    • Armory Park HZAB (Link)
    • Barrio Historico HZAB (Link)
    • El Presidio HZAB (Link)
    • Fort Lowell HZAB (Link)
    • West University HZAB (Link)
  • National Register Property Nominations (Link)
  • How to locate the original Historic Property Inventory Form for a historically designated property:
    • Go to the Planning & Development Service Department’s MapTucson (Link)
    • Click on the Layers tab (lower left) or on Open the Layer List.
    • Turn on (check the boxes next to) Historic Preservation and Historic Properties
    • Zoom in on the map to the subject property until building footprints are shown in grey or white.
      • * = Individually Listed on the National Register
      • C = Contributor to National Register Historic District
      • NC = Non-Contributor to Historic District
      • E = Eligible for listing on National Register
      • IE = Ineligible for National Register
      • V = Vacant lot
      • DC = Demolished Contributor
    • Click on the building footprint of the subject property. A smaller window will appear with Parcel information. If a link for “Inventory” does not appear, click on the “1 of 2” arrow in the upper right corner of the smaller window.
    • Click on the Inventory link to download a PDF of the original Arizona Historic Property Inventory Form (if available).
    • For some historic districts, you must request the form by address or parcel ID from the Historic Preservation Office (PDSDhistoric@tucsonaz.gov). 


HL – City of Tucson Historic Landmark
HPZ – City of Tucson Historic Preservation Zone
HZAB – Historic Zone Advisory Board
LAR – Legal Action Report
PDSD – Planning and Development Services, City of Tucson
PRS – Plans Review Subcommittee of the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission
TSM – Technical Standards Manual
UDC – Unified Development Code