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 [graphic] National Register Bulletin: Guidelines for Local Surveys: A Basis for Preservation Planning

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U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service

Use of Survey Data in Planning

Chapter IV

The U.S. Supreme Court, in its decision Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City, commented that identifying (historic) properties and areas ... is critical to any landmark preservation effort (438 U.S. 104, 110, 1978). The Conservation Foundation's Handbook on Historic Preservation Law (see Bibliography), commenting on the Court's observation, notes that surveys are a key element in making city preservation planning and development goals complementary. But how does this key element relate to other aspects of planning? This section will address questions about how survey data can actually be used.

Since each community's planning needs are unique, this discussion will necessarily be general, and some elements of it will apply to some communities better than others.

Two kinds of planning will be discussed: preservation planning and community development planning. These are not unrelated; indeed as will be stressed, they should be closely coordinated, and they often involve the same activities and strategies, but they will be discussed individually here for ease of presentation.

What are the major components of preservation planning?

Preservation planning, as used in this publication, means planning for the continued identification and evaluation of historic properties and for their protection and enhancement. Ideally these efforts should be guided by a comprehensive historic preservation plan that integrates the various activities and gives them coherence and direction, as well as relates the community's preservation efforts to community development planning as a whole.

A comprehensive historic preservation plan typically has several elements: an identification element, an evaluation element, and a protection element, the last incorporating a range of possible strategies for keeping historic properties in place, maintaining their integrity, and, in the words of the National Historic Preservation Act, letting them exist in productive harmony and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations (16 U.S.C. 470-1(1). A realistic preservation plan will also include provision for those instances in which historic resources cannot be physically preserved-when other community needs demand that they be removed, demolished, or dug up.


How are survey data used in ongoing identification?

As the survey progresses, it is almost certain that historic contexts not recognized or fully defined at the time the survey was planned will become evident. Sometimes contexts that were initially defined very broadly are divided into multiple contexts as they are refined based on incoming survey data. For example, an initial context might be the development of warehousing as a major city industry and, as survey data developed, it might be found that in fact the city's history had been characterized by two major phases of warehouse development-one associated with steamship commerce, the other, in another period of time, with railroads, and each represented by distinctive kinds of warehouses in different parts of town. Dividing the context into two would be appropriate to ensure that both kinds of warehouses and the historic and architectural significance of each were given due consideration.

Within each context, the analysis and synthesis of incoming survey data will almost always lead to the identification of property types and locational patterns not fully anticipated at the time the survey was planned, resulting in continual adjustments to the survey design. As information gaps established as priority targets for survey during initial survey planning are filled, new gaps will become apparent. This should not be a surprise, but should be welcomed as evidence of a maturing survey effort. The incoming survey data should be used to adjust and retarget subsequent phases of archival research and fieldwork.

To take maximum advantage of the natural feedback between the survey work itself and survey planning, it is usually wise to conduct survey in phases, first conducting a broad-brush reconnaissance, then using the results of the reconnaissance data to design subsequent phases of work. Unless some urgent development priority demands it, it is usually unwise simply to undertake a community-wide intensive survey at the outset, or to target a particular area f - or intensive survey while postponing giving attention to the rest of the community. Lacking the information provided by initial reconnaissance of the entire community, the intensive survey is likely to be poorly focussed, and important resources ma be unnecessarily lost.

How are survey data used in making evaluation decisions?

Survey data obviously provide the raw material on which decisions about the significance of particular properties are made, but they are important to evaluation decision making in more subtle ways as well. Since decisions regarding the evaluation of properties involves placing properties in historic contexts, the more that is known about a given context, the better will be the evaluation decisions made about particular properties. Recalling the example given above, for instance, when the question of how many and which warehouses to nominate to the National Register arises, the answer may vary considerably depending on whether a single warehouse-related context or two such contexts are recognized. In short, as the survey progresses, evaluation decisions should become steadily better and better informed. The level of information upon which an evaluation decision is made can be particularly important if the decision is likely to be controversial. Where a decision is likely to be challenged, for example by a property owner who feels that recognizing a building as historic will impede its demolition or by preservationists who feel that a property is more historic than the survey data indicate, it is essential that the decision made be based not only on information about the property itself but also on the historic context of which it is (or is not) a part.

Evaluation decisions can be made on the basis of incomplete survey data, but it is wise not to make them without some information on the community's historic contexts and their component property types. As a result, it may be best, unless there is some urgent reason to do otherwise, to defer decisions about the significance of particular properties until at least some initial survey data have been collected concerning the relevant historic contexts. For example, even though a particular property owner is very anxious to have his or her building nominated to the National Register at the very outset of the survey effort, it may be in the best interests of an orderly and defensible process of evaluation to defer the nomination until at least reconnaissance-level data are available on that particular context or contexts to which the building may relate. More importantly, a decision that a given property is not significant should never be made without access to a reasonable body of survey data on relevant historic contexts, since such an uninformed decision may result in the property's destruction without attention to its historic values.

This is not to say that no evaluation decisions should be made until the survey effort has reached some particular level of maturity; sometimes there are good reasons to give priority to consider the significance of a particular property before much contextual information has been gathered. For example, if a particular site or structure is threatened by a development project, or if an evaluation of a building is important to a rehabilitation plan, it may be necessary to give the property's evaluation a higher priority than would normally be the case in the overall survey process. When an evaluation must be made without a firm understanding of the relevant historic contexts, however, it should be made on the basis of as much relevant data as it is possible to accumulate, and with full recognition of the fact that it may result in the destruction of a property that might later on the basis of complete survey results be found to be very significant, or in the investment of money and other resources in a property later found to lack historic value.


How can survey data contribute to strategies for the preservation and enhancement of historic resources?

A community historic preservation plan may include a wide range of strategies for the preservation and enhancement of historic properties. A summary of many such approaches can be found in Remember the Neighborhoods, by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (see Bibliography). Several commonly used strategies will be discussed below, with reference to the contribution survey data can make to them.

General Historic Preservation Ordinances

Community-wide historic preservation ordinances are effective ways to ensure that historic properties are considered in community planning as a whole, and in the development of different areas of the community. A community seeking certification under Section 101(c) of the National Historic Preservation Act must have and enforce such an ordinance. The Conservation Foundation's Handbook on Historic Preservation Law (see Bibliography) gives a good outline of the key provisions of a general-purpose preservation ordinance (though with insufficient attention to the treatment of archeological sites), and provides useful advice about how to draft such ordinances.

Theoretically, a historic preservation ordinance could be established based on no information at all about a community's historic resources, but merely on the general supposition that there might be something in the community having historic significance. In fact, however, some body of information on the community's resources is usually necessary simply to generate the awareness that there is something to protect, and the more survey data that are available, and the more comprehensive such data are, the better the ordinance can be drafted to address the community's actual preservation opportunities and constraints.

Historic preservation ordinances typically provide for the existence of a review body of some kind to oversee the preservation program and specifically to make evaluation decisions. Survey data can help define the kinds of expertise that should be represented on the review body. For example, if on the basis of initial archival research or other survey work it appears that the community was the site of significant prehistoric development, the presence on the review body of an archeologist specializing in prehistory might be called for, while if it appears that the community contained many buildings representing different schools of design, periods of construction, and architectural styles, the presence of an architectural historian would be appropriate. Representation by sociologists or anthropologists might be called for if evaluation decisions were likely to involve the consideration of ethnic neighborhoods or other resources associated with particular contemporary social groups.

Ordinances also spell out the scope of authorities assumed by the review body and the preservation program it oversees, Survey data can help define what authorities are needed. If the community contains many historic buildings that may be candidates for adaptive use and rehabilitation, but which may also be subjected to insensitive renovation, the preservation program may need to have the authority to review and approve renovation activities as well as outright demolition. If the visual qualities of certain streetscapes are likely to be important, the program may need the authority to review alterations to building exteriors. If the community is likely to contain significant subsurface archeological resources, the program may need the authority to review grading permits or other authorizations for ground disturbance.

Finally, ordinances usually set forth the procedures and standards that will be used by the preservation program in evaluation decisions and in decisions about approval or disapproval of particular kinds of activities that may affect historic properties. Survey data can help ensure that such procedures and standards are actually appropriate to the community's resources. For example, if the community's central business district contains many historic buildings suitable for rehabilitation, ordinance drafters may want to pay particular attention to the establishment of standards for rehabilitation and procedures for reviewing renovation-projects. If an important historic context is agricultural development in what are now the suburbs of a city, special attention may need to be paid to standards and procedures for dealing with visual and physical intrusions on surviving farmsteads and agricultural buffers.

The relationship between the survey process and the development of an ordinance is a dynamic one. On the one hand, the ordinance will be most sensitive to the community's needs if it is based in part on some survey data. On the other hand, the survey will probably be most effective if it is backed up and structured by an ordinance. If a community has the luxury to establish its preservation plan in an orderly, step-by-step manner, it may be best to conduct at least initial survey planning, establishing basic historic contexts, and perhaps to conduct some level of reconnaissance work, before drafting an ordinance, and then to draft the ordinance with an eye toward facilitating further survey as well as fulfilling other preservation objectives. In any event, drafters of ordinances should take into account whatever survey data is available as they carry out their work.

Historic District Ordinances

Historic district ordinances differ from general historic preservation ordinances in that they apply only within particular designated historic districts and in that they are typically much more specific in their terms. They often provide that particular kinds of changes, for example, any alteration to the exterior of a building or structure, can be undertaken only after issuance of a permit by the city historic preservation office or by a historic district commission. Drafters of historic district ordinances will need survey data of the kinds discussed above, but in addition, of course, survey data will be needed to define the historic district to which the ordinance applies. If the district is to be nominated to the National Register, fairly complete data based on intensive survey will be needed. If it is to be designated at the local level only, less (or in some cases, more) information will be required, depending on local law and policy. To establish justifiable controls, it is necessary to know enough about the historic resources that make up the district to decide what their im taxes; and important characteristics are, and for this task, good survey data are needed.

Financial Incentives

Financial incentives for the preservation, rehabilitation, and adaptive use of historic properties can take many forms, some carried out completely at the local level, some featuring a partnership with State and Federal agencies. Examples include:

  • tax incentives, such as Federal investment tax credits and local exemptions from or reduction of property tax;

  • grants from the State Historic Preservation Officer, the National Park Service, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and other public and private agencies;

  • Federal, State, and local subsidies to assist key businesses and to support low-income housing, helping to stabilize deteriorating commercial areas and neighborhoods; the Department of Housing and Urban Development has published examples of such programs that are worth consideration (e.g., Leveraging your CDBG, see Bibliography);

  • the charitable contributions of partial interest in an historically important land area or certified historic structure that can be deducted fro

  • the use of revolving funds and low interest loans to support such activities as sensitive rehabilitation and facade restoration.

    Information and advice on possible financial incentives can be obtained from the State Historic Preservation Officer. Survey data are important in the administration of financial incentive programs not only to identify specific historic properties whose owners or developers might be offered such incentives, but also to give the community an early idea about what kinds of incentives might be appropriate. To return to an earlier example, the community whose central business district contains many buildings that could be rehabilitated may want to give special attention to tax incentives for rehabilitation, and perhaps to donations of facade easements, while the community whose agricultural hinterland is important may take special interest in the purchase or receipt by donation of conservation easements.

    Archeological Programs

    Programs to protect and use archeological sites come in several forms. Provisions applicable to other kinds of historic properties can be adapted to archeological purposes; for example, conservation easements can be used to protect archeological sites from land disturbance, and tax credits can be offered for the contribution of funds to archeological excavation or for the contribution of the artifacts recovered from such excavations to the government or a non-profit corporation. Preservation ordinances can provide for the review of grading permits and other actions that permit subsurface disturbance, and can require that archeological salvage excavations be done when a significant site is to be disturbed.

    All these provisions can be best and most sensitively put in place if some survey data are in hand, For example, development interests in a community may object strenuously to an ordinance giving a preservation program review authority over all grading permits, but may object less if the authority is restricted to particular areas where survey data indicates the likelihood of significant subsurface resources.

    Because archeology is concerned with the preservation, recovery, and interpretation of information about the community's past, there are certain strategies that can be applied to archeological preservation more effectively than to the preservation of other kinds of resources. Salvage archeology-the excavation of sites that must be destroyed and the translation of the data they contain into books, archives, and exhibits-is an example of such a strategy. There is a great potential for public involvement in salvage archeology, which typically requires a large workforce and many skills and levels of experience. Some communities have public archeology programs that stimulate interest and provide recreational opportunities under professional supervision while supporting local museums and interpretive programs and salvaging archeological sites at low cost. Such programs not only use survey data to determine where to dig, but also can be used to carry out the archeological component of a survey program itself. An excellent example of such a program is described in the National Park Service publication Approaches to Preserving a City's Past (see Bibliography).

    Interpretive Programs

    Programs that interpret historic properties, and the community's history, prehistory, and architecture in general, for the public can be powerful tools in preservation, They can generate public interest in and sympathy for preservation, and make the objects of preservation understandable to taxpayers, voters, and decision makers. Examples of interpretive programs include the development of house museums, the sponsorship of walking tours, the publication of brochures and books on the community's past, the establishment of displays in museums, public buildings, and open spaces, and the on-site interpretation of historic buildings, structures, and sites.

    Survey data are important to interpretive programs not only for the identification of properties that may be interpreted, but also for the establishment of contexts in which interpretation can be carried out. An interpretive program will be most meaningful to the public if it presents an integrated view of the community's past, based on significant history contexts developed in the course of survey work.

    Public Involvement

    The more the public can be involved in a community's preservation program, the more likely the program is to succeed. Not only can survey data contribute to public support by helping the public understand what is important about the community's past, but the survey effort itself can be a powerful stimulus to public involvement. Because a survey can, and indeed must, draw on a wide range of talents, and because most survey work can be done by trained volunteers under professional supervision, a community's residents can become deeply involved in the conduct of the survey itself, and it can serve to catalyze their participation in the community's preservation program as a whole.

    Where Destruction Must Occur

    Historic properties cannot always be preserved in place, even with the best of preservation plans and programs. Modern economic and social requirements sometimes cannot be accommodated by the adaptive use of historic buildings, and in the competition for urban space, such buildings must sometimes be the losers no matter how earnestly the community may wish to preserve them. Archeological sites are even more prone to destruction, since even a rehabilitation project may involve disturbance of the ground under and around a building.

    Where historic properties must give way to modern development, or to natural processes of erosion and decay, several strategies can be undertaken to avoid complete loss. In some cases historic buildings can be relocated to new sites with compatible surroundings where they can be preserved and rehabilitated. Often such buildings are marketed for relocation-offered for sale at a low price (the cost of demolition, or less) to anyone who will relocate and rehabilitate them. If demolition must occur, buildings are often recorded so that a body of information will remain about them. The Historic American Buildings Survey and the Historic American Engineering Record, both in the National Park Service, can provide detailed information on architectural recordation. In some cases, architectural elements are salvaged for reuse in new development, or for curation in a museum. Archeological sites are often subjected to salvage excavation or data recovery; this involves the conduct of archeological research aimed at extracting the useful information such sites contain before they are destroyed. Guidelines for archeological salvage research projects, and examples of such projects, can be obtained from the National Park Service.

    How can survey data be used in community development planning?

    Historic preservation can be viewed both as an opportunity for community development and as a constraint upon such development. In the past it has largely been viewed as the latter; today it is increasingly seen as the former, but in fact it properly is both.

    From the standpoint of constraints, such survey data as the description of historic contexts, predictive maps, and inventories are vital to the identification of conflicts between development planning and local preservation priorities, and can facilitate determining what will need to be done to meet State and Federal environmental review requirements. From the standpoint of opportunities, survey data can be used to identify the historic contexts and their constituent elements-buildings, streetscapes, building uses, cultural activities, and other resources-on which community development can build in order to make the most of the community's unique historic qualities. Ideally, development planning should use survey data to identify opportunities for the use of the community's historic character in creating its future, to minimize conflicts between preservation and development, and to provide for the orderly resolution of those conflicts that inevitably will occur.

    The National Park Service publication Economics of Revitalization (see Bibliography) provides a prescription for integrating historic preservation positively into development planning. The essential steps in the process involve:


  • Identifying opportunities and constraints, including:

  • defining and characterizing the target area,

  • identifying community goals,

  • identifying assets for and constraints on development,

  • identifying the Federal, State, and local regulations that might control or influence the development, and

  • describing existing proposals or alternatives for development.

    2. Overview analysis of:

  • market dynamics,

  • investment climate,

  • the capabilities of the community and the developer(s) involved,

  • the social and community interests and concerns that pertain to the development area, and

  • the potential of the development to catalyze additional positive development.

    3. Screening options, involving assessment of:

  • economic impacts, both positive and negative,

  • social impacts, both positive and negative,

  • the potential of each option to catalyze further positive development, and

  • the development opportunities that will be foregone if a particular development option is chosen.

    Survey data are vital to carrying out many of the above steps in orderly development planning. It is obvious that survey data can and should be used to identify development assets such as historic buildings suitable for rehabilitation and adaptive use, and historic neighborhoods whose cultural cohesion provides a basis for economic growth without loss of character or displacement of residents. Survey data can also be useful in identifying community goals and social interests and concerns, especially with reference to the goals of neighborhood groups, social groups, businesses, and others who may wish to preserve and enhance the historic and cultural character of particular areas of the community. Similarly, survey data can provide a basis for measuring aspects of the social impact of a proposed development, by identifying the kinds of changes that will be welcome and those that will be distasteful to those who value the character of the areas that may be affected. Survey data can also help in the assessment of a project's catalytic potential, by identifying properties and areas with the potential for rehabilitation and reuse in the vicinity of a proposed development project.

    Ideally, development planning should relate to an area's historic resources in a positive manner, viewing existing structures, views, streetscapes, social groups and activities, and cultural attributes of the area as things to be understood and built upon. Using survey data at an appropriate scale, development planning should seek to characterize the historic resources of the area and to identify the key elements that define its character-both such tangible elements as buildings, street plans, and archeological sites, and such intangible elements as social groups and patterns of activity. These should be used to help define the development plan in a way that uses the area's character rather than destroys it.

    Even where survey data cannot be integrated into planning in such a positive manner, such data are still vital in identifying constraints and in establishing orderly processes for dealing with them. At a bare minimum, what a development planner needs to know about historic resources is a) where they are and b) what can feasibly be done to care for them in the development process. Survey data can, of course, provide such information. A completed survey will allow planners to identify precisely what historic resources exist in a proposed project area and, by providing a statement of each property's significance, will provide one key piece of information needed to determine how each property should be treated.

    However, a survey need not be completed to provide vital information for development planning purposes. For example, based on archival research and reconnaissance level field investigation of an area where development is being planned, it should be possible to document:

  • the historic contexts relevant to the area;

  • the basic types of historic properties likely to be found;

  • the contemporary cultural, social, and economic uses of such properties, and the way these structure the use of space;

  • the general changes that are occurring in the architectural fabric and social uses of the area;

  • the social groups, ethnic groups, organizations, and others having historic and cultural interests in the area;

  • the historic preservation goals and priorities that currently apply to the area, and to some extent, likely future goals and priorities;

  • in some cases, the mechanisms that might be used to resolve conflicts with preservation-related interests, and

  • sources of additional information on the area's resources.

    For example, imagine that a community wishes to undertake a program to revitalize an area consisting of an economically depressed residential neighborhood and a commercial street, and that an historic resources survey of the area has progressed only to the reconnaissance level. Based on archival research, windshield survey, interviews with local residents and organizations during survey planning, and minor archeological fieldwork, the survey data might document:

    1. Three major historic contexts are thus far known to be relevant to the area. The earliest is based on use of the area in the 18th century as a cattle ranch, and is important to economic historians studying the early development of the beef industry. The second involves commercial development stimulated by economic boom conditions in the 1880s and 1890s, and the third is the immigration of ethnic populations during the early 20th century.

    2. It is unlikely that any standing structures survive to represent the cattle ranching historic context, but the archeological remains of the ranch center are likely to occur in a two-block area under existing low-density housing. Many of the area's commercial buildings date from the late 19th century boom. The neighborhood subject to effect by the project includes row houses built originally to house Irish immigrants and later adapted by an Italian immigrant group; the area remains heavily influenced by Italian customs today.

    3. The cattle ranching historic context has no apparent influence on modern uses of space, and its archeological sites are not significantly influenced by contemporary activities. The commercial buildings continue in use, primarily serving the day-to-day needs of the neighborhood. The neighborhood appears to be close-knit; archival research and initial interviews indicate that related families tend to occupy adjacent or nearby houses, where they regularly interact and assist one another. Field reconnaissance suggests that this has resulted in the formation of somewhat distinctive mini-neighborhoods in which exterior painting, landscaping, and minor details of architectural ornamentation vary from one group of families to another; it is assumed that the same patterns would be observed if the interior organization of houses were examined.

    4. The entire area is suffering decay as a result of its depressed economy. Owners of commercial buildings have damaged their buildings by deferring maintenance and by using inappropriate materials and techniques to cover up damage or to modernize the appearance of the buildings. In the residential neighborhood, it appears that some clusters of houses, representing particular groups of families, are well maintained, while other clusters are rapidly deteriorating. It is assumed that the well-maintained clusters represent groups of families that continue the tradition of cooperation and self-help, while those that are deteriorating reflect family clusters that are disintegrating.

    5. A group of businesspeople has been cooperating with the survey, and its members have expressed interest in rehabilitation. A neighborhood group has expressed suspicion about the intentions of the survey team during initial interviews, but its representatives have spoken eloquently about their desire to retain the character of the neighborhood and reverse the patterns of disintegration they observe around them.

    6. Current preservation goals applicable to the area include determining the integrity and significance of any archeological remains of the cattle ranching historic context, defining the significant characteristics of the area's commercial buildings as a basis for rehabilitation planning, and studying the residential neighborhood as a potential historic district. Dealing with the commercial buildings is given highest priority because of their deteriorating condition and the interest that their owners have shown in rehabilitation. Study of the neighborhood is given second priority because of the potential for using historic preservation strategies over the long run to help its residents reverse the process of decay. Addressing the archeological remains of the ranching context is given lowest priority because the remains are in no immediate danger.

    7. The businesspeople do not form an organized group, but could probably be brought together to cooperate with local government and developers in a redevelopment effort. Some of the major leaders of the residential neighborhood do not speak English as their first language, so efforts should be made to ensure that project plans are described and discussed in Italian as well. An effort should be made to ensure that representatives of each family cluster are contacted to discuss project planning, preferably with the cooperation of trusted neighborhood leaders.

    8. A master's thesis on file with the history department at a nearby college is the major organized source of information on the cattle ranching historic context, and describes how the location of the ranch center was established through the study of historical records. The anthropology department at the same college developed a proposal for a field school in historical archeology at the ranch center site, but failed to obtain funding; this proposal could serve as the basis for designing a testing program to determine what physical remains actually exist on the site, and perhaps for designing an archeological salvage project if the site is to be disturbed. The boom period of the late 19th century is well documented in records on file at the local courthouse and in the city library, though little work has yet been done on the study of its architectural products per se. Initial inter-views have resulted in the identification of several individuals who can provide oral historical and ethnographic information on the Italian use of the residential neighborhood, but information on the initial Irish period is very sparse at present.

    Based on such information, development planners and preservation authorities can work together to integrate preservation goals and priorities into the development process. Disturbance of the area likely to contain the remains of the historic ranch can be avoided if possible; if avoidance is not feasible, an archeological program can be designed to establish what remains actually exist and, if they have real value for research, to recover pertinent data from them. Businesspeople interested in rehabilitating their buildings can be organized to work with developers and planners, and the project can be planned to the extent feasible to be compatible with their interests. Revitalization of the neighborhood can be planned to build on its social strengths and perhaps to correct the weaknesses that are leading to its deterioration, preserving its cultural character and, thereby, its particular architectural values.

    Not all of these happy results may be possible. It may not be feasible to preserve so much of the area's historic and architectural fabric and still have an economically viable project. Even if in the end nothing is preserved, however, the application of survey data will not have been in vain. If nothing else, the data will provide the basis for understanding what is being lost and making informed decisions about whether to sacrifice it. It will also provide the basis for considering measures to mitigate loss of the resources, through relocation, recordation, and salvage. Finally, it will help ensure that people and groups interested in preserving and maintaining the character or the area participate in the planning process, rather than feeling that the project was imposed upon them without considering their concerns.

    The major point to be remembered is that survey data can be mobilized and employed at virtually any point in the progress of a survey to provide information useful in development planning. If the survey itself is well planned, at each step in its progress survey leaders will have some idea of the historic contexts relevant to various parts of the community, and some set of goals and priorities for each context. Development planners should take these goals and priorities into account in carrying out their work, seeking to address them in carrying out their own programs.

    If the survey is at a very early stage when it intersects with development planning, development planners will be able to draw only on general, preliminary survey data. They will probably have to be prepared for planning delays while historic contexts are developed, initial surveys are conducted, and preservation goals and priorities are established, before they can try to blend such goals and priorities with those of development. As the survey matures, development planners will have to worry less and less about the identification of contexts and properties and the establishment of goals and priorities; these will have been established, and the challenge for development planners will be to seek ways to accommodate them.

    Survey data are most useful to development planning if they are systematically integrated into the community's general planning. This is done by establishing a preservation element in the community's general plan, and by adjusting the general plan as a whole to ensure that the guidance it provides to decision makers is not inconsistent with preservation interests. Zoning is of particular importance to preservation. Whatever incentives to preservation a community may adopt, it its zoning is designed to encourage high-density development of areas containing historic resources, such development is likely to occur. It is desirable to incorporate historic preservation concerns into a community's zoning system, so that historic areas and areas around key historic sites and structures are zoned only for development that is compatible with the character of the historic resources. If this is not feasible, then the general plan may overlay onto the zoning plan a requirement for review and approval of development schemes by an historic preservation or architectural design review body.

    Ideally, the historic preservation component of a community's general plan should be comprehensive-that is, it should deal with all kinds of resources important to understanding, appreciating, and experiencing the community's past. This requires that the community have at least the results of some archival research, and usually some reconnaissance-level survey data, in hand when it begins work on the plan. Enough should be known to have at least a general idea about such matters as:

  • an initial formulation of historic contexts that may have characterized the community's history;

  • Whether the community is likely to have significant prehistoric or historic archeological resources, and in what areas these may be concentrated;

  • the general types of buildings and structures that make up the community's built environment, and what their major important characteristics are;

  • the general locations and boundaries of likely historic districts;

  • the general nature and characteristics of any cultural landscapes; and

  • the social and cultural characteristics of the community and its neighborhoods that may influence preservation decisions.

    At the same time, it should be remembered that a survey need not be complete to serve as the basis for development of a preservation plan. Plans can be developed at relatively early stages in the conduct of a survey, as long as they provide for ongoing survey and evaluation, and for adjustments to the plan itself as new survey data are acquired.



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