Historic Preservation Ordinance

The Planning Services Department is involved in protecting, promoting and enhancing the historic, cultural and aesthetic resources that make Dubuque a unique, identifiable and vital community. We support the Historic Preservation Commission, the community’s steward of these resources, through educational programming, historic/architectural surveys/evaluations, and design reviews. The City offers financial incentives for exterior improvements to qualifying properties.

Under the City’s Historic Preservation Ordinance, the Historic Preservation Commission’s scope of design review must meet the following four (4) criteria for property in one of the City Historic Districts:

  1. Exterior alteration;
  2. Visible from the public way;
  3. Requires a permit; and
  4. Locally-designated property.

Exterior alteration means changes to the exterior architectural appearance -- the design and materials of the front, side, and rear facades, the roof, and any signs.

Visible from the public way means the project is visible while standing on an adjacent public street, sidewalk, alley or step. (Temporary structures or vegetation are not considered obstructions.)

Requires a permit means a City building or sign permit is required for the exterior alterations.

Locally-designated property means a local landmark, landmark site, individually designated historic property, or a structure within a local historic district.

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The Planning Services Department provides professional historic preservation services to the Historic Preservation Commission for:

The Historic Preservation Ordinance is available Historic Preservation Ordinance.

This webpage is not intended to cover every aspect of the Historic Preservation Ordinance, and should not be considered the final or definitive authority on any of the matters it addresses.  It is only a general guide.  Questions on specific projects should be addressed to the Planning Services Department via mail: 50 W. 13th Street, Dubuque, Iowa  52001; phone: (563) 589-4210; fax: (563) 589-4221; e-mail: planning@cityofdubuque.org; or the Service Request feature of this webpage.