Historic designation process

In late 2018, motivated by proposed development that was significantly out of scope and character for the neighborhood, neighbors from Penmoken Park, Suburban Court, Rosemont Garden, Nicholasville Road, Wabash Drive, Lackawanna Road, Goodrich Avenue, and Pensacola Drive joined together to understand how Lexington’s urban infill and redevelopment plan and Imagine Lexington would affect the neighborhood. Feeling that the historic character of the neighborhood was in jeopardy, neighbors organized and developed support for Lexington’s H-1 (Historic District) Overlay designation. The H-1 Overlay application was filed in early 2019, and was approved and took effect in December 2019. More information about the process can be found in the Lexington Herald Leader’s coverage of the application process and in our Pensacola Park Historic District (H-1) Designation Report

By receiving the H-1 designation from LFUCG, Pensacola Park is also recognized by Kentucky’s historic preservation organization, the Kentucky Heritage Council. KHC then nominated and received approval for Pensacola Park to be listed in the National Trust for Historic Preservation. You can see our complete 74-page application, which describes our house styles and the history of the neighborhood in great detail, here.

The H-1 Overlay does not prevent development or changes to structures in the neighborhood, but it does require those changes fit with the character of the neighborhood. (Modifications made to houses before H-1 approval are grandfathered in and need not be undone, re-done, or reviewed to follow these guidelines.) For homeowners, this means that most exterior changes, such as new roofing, windows, siding, or additions require a Certificate of Appropriateness Application to be approved by Lexington’s Historic Preservation Office or the Board of Architectural Review (BOAR). See the Review of elements in Lexington’s H-1 Districts for a quick overview of the process, and Lexington’s Local Historic District (H-1 Overlay) Design Guidelines for a complete guide. When considering this extra step in home improvements, keep in mind that historic designation can increase property value over similar houses not in historic districts. Our state and federal historic designations also qualify Pensacola Park homeowners for potential tax credits.

Questions about the appropriateness of changes can be directed to the Lexington Office of Historic Preservation. Questions about tax credits should be directed to KHC.