Only a government can adopt a preservation ordinance, create preservation districts, and designate individual landmark properties. Federal and state laws define how this can be done, with further definition by the courts. Preservation regulations are part of land use law, and have been tested and refined through legal challenges.
The Landmark Society, despite many people’s beliefs, has no regulatory authority. Legally, we cannot designate a property as an “official” landmark or district. When we speak of landmark properties, we refer to all those with architectural significance, many of which are undesignated at any level.
Our role is to help identify those properties with landmark characteristics that would qualify for official designation. Often times, we help research a property and prepare nomination forms. We also help educate members of preservation boards and zoning staff.