Over many years, Historic Boulder has utilized several tools to safeguard and preserve important older properties. Among these tools are legal covenants and historic preservation easements which Historic Boulder has obtained on key properties and buildings in town. Here is a brief description of each of these preservation strategies:

An historic preservation easement is a property right in the property (typically a building and its associated land) for the specific purpose of ensuring that the historical, architectural, or cultural interest or value is protected in perpetuity. The historic preservation easement is intended to prevent demolition and certain changes to the exterior of a structure, and even certain changes to the interior of the structure. The historic preservation easement is a voluntary grant by the property owner of such a property right to Historic Boulder. In order to grant an historic preservation easement, the property must first be designated as a landmark by a local government or landmarks commission, and the grant must be made to a governmentally qualified organization. Historic Boulder is such a qualified organization. Because an historic preservation easement is usually donated by the property owner, it may provide the owner with certain financial benefits including federal and state tax deductions and sometimes a lower property’s tax assessment. Tax deductions and property tax assessments have several qualification requirements and are determined by the applicable governmental entities through a process which may entail, among other requirements, evaluation by an IRS-qualified appraiser.

A covenant is a private contractual agreement addressing restrictions and limitations on the use of real property. A covenant is entered into voluntarily between private parties. In the case of a covenant used for historic preservation purposes, the covenant is a private agreement between the property owner and Historic Boulder wherein the property owner agrees to certain restrictions and limitations on the use of the property as imposed by Historic Boulder in the covenant. The covenant may require the maintenance and preservation of the distinctive historic architectural characteristics that qualify the property as eligible for actual or potential landmarking. Covenants are frequently required as a condition for grant-funded restoration work. As opposed to the historic conservation easement, since the covenant is a private agreement there are no governmental requirements or qualifications necessary prior to entering into the covenant.