Historic Preservation Overlay Zoning

zoningHistoric Preservation Overlay Zoning districts are different from National Register districts, although they often overlap. Think of historic preservation zoning as local protection, whereas National Register listing is nationwide recognition. Local HP zoning provides limited protection to historic resources in local development matters, while National Register status provides limited protection only when Federal dollars are used.

Historic neighborhoods seek out historic preservation zoning to provide extra protection from inappropriate alterations and unsympathetic new construction. Generally, the neighborhoods that would qualify for HP zoning are those that would be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. For example, all of Tulsa’s HP-zoned districts are also National Register-listed districts. However, listing in the National Register does not require that the neighborhood pursue local HP zoning.

HP zoning requires that any exterior renovations or repairs (in some cases) are subject to design review by the Tulsa Preservation Commission before work can be done. Historic preservation zoning helps to:

  1. Preserve and protect the distinctive characteristics of buildings and places significant to the history of the City of Tulsa and the State of Oklahoma.
  2. Maintain and improve the streetscapes of those buildings and places.
  3. Assure that new and relocated construction is architecturally compatible with existing buildings in the district.

Historic preservation zoning is technically referred to by city planners as “overlay” zoning. The historic preservation zoning is “overlaid” on top of the existing zoning. The existing zoning restrictions are unchanged — instead they are supplemented by the conditions of historic preservation zoning.

The existing zoning requirements control such issues as land use, building setbacks, parking requirements, lot coverage by structures, and building heights. Historic preservation zoning does not prevent lot splits.

We encourage you to contact the Tulsa Planning Office with general zoning inquiries or for official verification that a property lies within a historic preservation zoning overlay district.