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The Historic Preservation Plan

Preservation Program Initiatives


Historic District Ordinance Revisions

Madison's five local historic districts each have their own ordinance requirements and processes for additions, alterations, and new construction. The City formed the Landmarks Ordinance Review Committee, which currently consists of 5 alders and 1 community member.

The committee is proposing these separate ordinances be integrated into a single historic district ordinance to provide a standardized process across districts, reflecting current best practices in historic preservation, and ensuring equal protection of historic resources in all districts while still supporting ongoing reinvestment and adaptive reuse in our historic places. This process will analyze the historic resources in each district, examine successes and challenges, evaluate current ordinances, and propose revised ordinance language.

Public Input

Three public meetings (below) will include an overview of the ordinance changes and an opportunity to comment on these changes. Please consider attending one or more of these virtual meetings.

Please click on the meeting link to register for the meeting you wish to attend. Meeting information from each event will be posted when available.




All Districts / General Public Meeting

Thursday, FEB 3, 6:30 pm

Development Professionals + Contractors Meeting

Monday, FEB 7, noon

New Construction Meeting

Thursday, FEB 10, 6:30 pm


Local Historic Districts


Case Studies

Staff compiled case studies of recent projects in each of the historic districts to try out how different types of project reviews would take shape in each of our districts. The files feature the Certificate of Appropriateness, the original staff report, an analysis following the draft ordinance, and the project submittal. For projects that were administrative approvals for repairs, there is no original staff report.

LORC Process to Date

The Landmarks Ordinance Review Committee has held 15 neighborhood meetings and 34 committee meetings for the historic district portion of the ordinance update. Click here for meeting agendas and additional information.

Historic Preservation Plan

The Madison Historic Preservation Plan as developed to celebrate and preserve the places that represent Madison’s collective histories. It provides guidance for development proposals, capital improvements, and implementation to ensure preservation is integrated into both long-range planning and current development projects. The plan recommends strategies and tools to 1) more effectively lead and integrate historic preservation into public policy, 2) utilize existing land use, zoning, and development standards to support preservation, 3) explore educational and promotion partnerships, 4) capitalize on economic development and financial incentives, 5) highlight sustainable building practices, and 6) encourage heritage tourism. The plan was adopted in May 2020.

Last Updated: 02/18/2022