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City Receives Award for Architectural Guidelines

The Iowa Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) has recognized the City of Dubuque with an award in the Best Practice category for their Architectural Guidelines. This award is for a specific planning tool, practice, program, project, or process. This category emphasizes results and demonstrates how innovative and state-of-the-art planning methods and practices help to create communities of lasting value.

In 2012, the City of Dubuque Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) pursued replacing several different sets of design guidelines with an updated manual for use community-wide. The result was a comprehensive, high-quality, user-friendly, online manual adopted in 2014. The Architectural Guidelines are written to be understood and applied by a layperson.

Christina Monk, HPC chairperson, noted, “The consistent application of the guidelines allows City staff to review a proposed alteration and, if in keeping with the guidelines’ recommended approach, render an approval. This has streamlined the process, allowing projects to move forward more quickly and with more guidance than in the past. If a project does come before the HPC, it is because the applicant is requesting a design approach that differs from one suggested in the guidelines.”

The Architectural Guidelines manual has an illustrated guide to planning a preservation project and a financial toolkit of incentives and resources. The manual is available online at www.cityofdubuque.org/ArchitecturalGuidelines.

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