How is a District Designated?
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How Is A District Designated?

In Indianapolis, local designation typically evolves from a grassroots neighborhood effort though a petitioning process.  All property owners within a proposed historic area are petitioned by neighborhood residents or an association to determine if local designation would be supported in the area.  Generally, the IHPC seeks support from 75% of the property owners to proceed with local historic designation.  When the petition process is complete, it is presented to the IHPC at a public hearing.  At that hearing, the IHPC will determine if local designation is warranted and must vote to allow IHPC staff to create a preservation plan for the historic area.  If the IHPC determines that local designation is justified, the IHPC Preservation Planner collaboratively works with the neighborhood to create a preservation plan, which ultimately becomes a part of the county's comprehensive plan.


By state law, a historic area preservation plan must have two public hearings before the IHPC and the Metropolitan Development Commission (MDC) before it is an approved district.  Every property owner within the proposed district will be notified before each of these hearings and have the opportunity to support or oppose the historic area designation.


The IHPC's Historic District Preservation Plan Workbook serves as a guide during the designation process. A similar workbook is available for conservation districts.



If you have questions regarding local historic district designation or would like to learn more about the process, please contact Christopher Myers, Preservation Planner, at 327-4432 or  


The National Park Service also offers a very helpful site called Working on the Past in Local Historic Districts that provides an overview of local district designation.


Wondering if your property is in an IHPC district? Click here: OR