• They seek to preserve/conserve their character and use for the benefit of future generations.

• Through careful restoration and reuse structures can once again become a functioning, economically productive part of communities.

• They do not wish to keep historic buildings idle or even to make them into

museum pieces.


• Conflicts often forces an either/or decision .

• In an adversarial approach to conflict resolution, a community usually loses either important landmarks and historic structures or an opportunity for economic growth.


• Conflict is frequently costly. Much money, either in capital outlay or the costs of delay, is lost as development projects are halted or even abandoned uncompleted.

• Developers often spend thousands and sometimes millions of dollars planning a project and initiating construction before they realize there is a problem.

• Uncertainty about development in or close to historic districts and structures may displace investment, robbing older areas of new investment that is badly needed.


• Developers, in general, avoid projects which are clearly going to be controversial and subject to delays or uncertainties about public approvals .

• Thus, if developing in a designated historic district results in too much uncertainty or delay, the developer and investor will go elsewhere, relieving the stress of historic preservation for the present, but destroying potential opportunities for area revitalization and restoration of many historic buildings.

Reasons for Conflicts

• Lack of coordination between local government development policy and preservation policy.

• Inadequate predetermination of historical significance of buildings.

• Insensitivity of developers to preservation objectives.

• Lack of standards for trading-off preservation and development objectives on a case-by-case basis.

Inadequate predetermination of historical significance

• It seems common that communities and preservation groups do not determine the historical significance of many buildings until a developer announces a project which requires the removal of existing structures. Suddenly it is determined that one or more of the buildings scheduled for demolition has historical significance and pressures are applied to list the building on local, state, or federal registers to protect it.

Insensitivity of developers to preservation objectives .

• In many instances, it appears that developers are insensitive to the preservation goals of local communities as well as the economic potential of older buildings. This leads developers to "clear and rebuild" approaches when it would be possible to integrate existing buildings into a project.

Lack of standards for trading-off on a case-by-case basis .

• Most communities have both preservation and economic development goals and have adopted various types of policies and programs to implement those goals. Although the goals are almost sure to conflict at some point, communities in most instances have not agreed on standards for trading-off development objectives and preservation objectives to resolve a particular decision.

Lack of standards for trading-off on a case-by-case basis

• As a result, when the objectives conflict in a particular case, it becomes a political battle with each side mustering as much political force as possible. Often the outcome depends more on the lobbying talents and political clout of the contending interests groups than on a careful examination and weighing of the alternatives.


• It will be impossible to remove all conflict between development and preservation forces. There will be instances where inspite of best efforts to coordinate policies and to devise solutions which optimize preservation and development objectives, the two sides will choose to battle it out in the courts and political arena.


• Still much can be done to clarify public policy, to create an environment conducive to coordination and compromise, and to take advantage of the mutual benefits that preservation and development can offer .

• Communications between developers, preservationists, and local governments are extremely important.