The Edmonds Historic Preservation Commission maintains the Edmonds Register of Historic Places, listing sites that have been formally designated as historic places in Edmonds.
A list of properties currently listed on the Edmonds Register can be viewed here and a map depicting the location of Edmonds Register sites is available here. Additional information on historic surveys conducted by the city can be found here.
How to get on the register
A. Complete and Submit An Application:
To apply to be on the Register, simply download the application form. If you have questions or need help completing the form, contact the Commission and a member will be glad to help you. Completed applications may be mailed or dropped off at the following address:
c/o Edmonds Planning Division
121 5th Ave N
Edmonds, WA 98020
- After receiving your completed application, a representative of the Commission will contact you to arrange a site visit to get any additional information needed for your application and to answer any further questions you may have.
- A "Notice of Land Use Action" sign will be posted at your property and an additional notice will be placed in the Everett Herald. These notices are to invite public comment on your application, and announce the time and location of a public hearing as required by law.
- The Commission holds a public hearing on the application. If approved, the Commission passes its recommendation to the City Council for their consideration and approval.
- Upon Council approval, you will be given a final consent form to sign and an Edmonds Historic Site plaque to install on your property.
Benefits of being on the register
There are a number of potential benefits available to properties listed on the Edmonds Register of Historic Places. These include the following.
- Pride in Preserving a Piece of Edmonds' History
- Special Tax Valuation
- Nonconforming Building Restoration
- Special Restoration Code
- Historic Reconstruction Code
- Special Parking Provisions
- Seek Special Tax Credits (requires National Register or District listing)
Pride in Preserving Edmonds History
Many people have noted the historic "character" of Downtown Edmonds and how important it is to preserve for future generations to enjoy. Zoning and other codes provide only limited protection since these typically deal with general form, height, and bulk issues -- but not the special character that many older buildings provide. Registering your historic building helps preserve that special Edmonds character, and encouraging others to do the same will help assure that the "small town" feel of Downtown Edmonds will continue be available for all to enjoy.
Special Tax Valuation
What it is. In 1985, the State Legislature passed a law which allowed a local option of "special valuation" for certain historic properties within the state. In January 2002, Edmonds, by Ordinance #3397, implemented this state program and made the special tax valuation available to properties listed on the Edmonds Register of Historic Places. Under special valuation, qualified rehabilitation costs are deducted from the assessed value of the property for 10 years.
Eligibility. To qualify for special valuation, the property must meet the following criteria:
- It must be listed on the Edmonds Register of Historic Places, or the National Register.
- It must undergo substantial rehabilitation at an expenditure of at least 25% of the assessed value of the structure.
- The work must have been conducted within 2 years of the application.
- The rehabilitation work must comply with the Washington State Advisory Council's Standards for Rehabilitation and Maintenance.
How to apply. Interested property owners can obtain information on how to sign up for the program from the Historic Preservation Commission via the Edmonds Planning Division. Property owners who use special valuation must sign an agreement with the Historic Preservation Commission that guarantees they will meet the following standards for ten years:
- The property must be maintained in good condition.
- Further improvements or changes to the property must be approved by the Historic Preservation Commission.
Nonconforming Building Restoration
The Edmonds Community Development Code (ECDC) normally requires that buildings that don't meet current zoning standards (such as height, setbacks, etc.) can't be reconstructed if they are damaged or destroyed by more than 75% of their replacement value -- they have to meet current codes. However, buildings listed on the Edmonds Register of Historic Places are exempt from this requirement -- they can be rebuilt even if they don't meet current zoning bulk requirements (ECDC 17.40.020).
Special Parking Provisions
In the Downtown Business Area, expansion or remodeling of buildings listed on the Edmonds Register of Historic Places can benefit from a special exception to the parking requirements contained in the zoning code. ECDC 17.50.070.C. states that:
"Exceptions to the required parking standards in the downtown area. When requested by the developer the staff, using information provided by the applicant, may decrease the required parking for a building listed on the Edmonds Register of Historic Places in order to retain historic elements of the building during its expansion, remodeling or restoration. Any building construction or remodeling activities serving as the justification for the parking exception shall be consistent with the criteria and procedures governing historic buildings contained in Chapter 20.45 ECDC. The decision on the parking exception shall be processed as a Staff decision – Notice required, as provided for in ECDC 20.95.050. [Ord. 3496 § 2, 2004]."