View the Westboro Neighborhood Conservation District NCD DocumentView the Elmhurst Neighborhood Conservation District NCD Document
A Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) is a zoning overlay designation. NCDs are used to address the appropriateness of design of new construction, as well as the compatibil-ity of exterior renovations and additions.
The development of Neighborhood Conser-vation Districts (NCD) in Topeka addresses concerns about the protection of neighbor-hood character for new residential construc-tion and additions.
NCDs identify geographic areas in the con-text of the total streetscape and architectur-al character. Neighborhood-specific design standards ad-dress the character-defining elements of the local identity and may reflect a specific ar-chitectural style, or traits and characteristics throughout the neighborhood block.
NCDs are a neighborhood revitalization plan-ning tool that can be used to protect distinct architecture, natural features, and neighbor-hood character.
A Neighborhood Conservation District designation pro-tects and strengthens the desirable and unique physical features, design characteristics, and recognized identity, charm and flavor of a neighborhood. It offers a level of “protection” for property values , helping to prevent blight caused by incompatible, insensitive development.
Yes. One of the most important components of the NCD designation is a set of established design standards. The standards, however, are developed by property owners, unique to each NCD, and determined as part of the ap-plication process.
Required design standards include character-defining elements such as building height, size, massing, princi-pal elevation features, lot size/coverage, parking, set-backs, roof pitch and paving. Optional standards might include features such as building materials, landscaping and natural features, fences/ walls, building orientation, driveway and sidewalk location.
No. Repainting is considered ordinary maintenance and repair, and is not listed as a design standard.
The property owners located within the NCD determine the unique “character-defining” elements that are important to them.
Both. Design standards affect those properties where new construction will occur and rehabilitation projects (beyond ordinary maintenance and repair) that affect the street facade.
No. Property owners are not required to rehabilitate their property upon designation. However, if they elect to rehabilitate their property after the NCD designation, they would be required to conform to the NCD standards.
Neighborhood character within an NCD will generally main-tain a higher level of stability. However, NCD designation does not initiate tax increases.
The standards are determined by the same property own-ers who will be using them; therefore, the local aesthetic and economic conditions become part of the determining factors for the design standards. With the exception of specific “character-defining” building materials deter-mined to be unique to the neighborhood, the design standards generally address the broader elements that define the streetscape.
Neighborhood Conservation Districts are an “overlay” zoning district. They do not affect the use of property as defined by its primary zoning classification. The underly-ing base zoning remains intact.
Generally, the criteria for designation includes:
A residential neighborhood that contains at least one block face;
There are three ways to initiate the process. Property owners may initiate the process through a petition of either: