NOTE: This page is to provide general information about the CBJ preservation ordinances.
You MUST consult
the official online version of the CBJ Code
(linked from this page) or the printed CBJ Code (available at the Juneau Public Library
and Mendenhall Valley Public Library) or the printed CBJ Administrative Code, before making
decisions about an historic property.
* Building Code Provisions (new item)
The CBJ Building Code (Title 19) provides authorization to the Building Official to relax
certain requirements for designated historic buildings.
The code reference is 19.01.020(I).
*Tax assessment forgiveness
The CBJ Tax Code provides a tax assessment forgiveness for certain work relating to
designated historic buildings.
The CBJ code references are
69.10.005(5) and 69.10.020(7)
*Downtown Historic District Standards
The purpose of the standards are to preserve the historical and architectural character
of the Juneau Downtown Historic District. The standards are contained in 4 CBJ AC 080
of the Community Development Department Regulations. The standards are as follows:
PART 6: HISTORIC DISTRICT STANDARDS
Chapter 80: Historic District Standards
4 CBJAC 080.010 PROCEDURES
Purpose - The intent of this chapter is to provide minimum design standards in order
to maintain and enhance the historic architectural character, protect property values,
enhance the appearance of the community, and to visually unify the downtown historic district.
Compliance with Requirements - Except as provided in this section, all developments within
the downtown historic district shall comply with this chapter. Residential buildings designed
for up to four dwelling units and buildings accessory thereto on a single zoning lot are exempt
from the requirements of this chapter unless such buildings are determined by the director to
be a part of a larger development.
Plan Submittal and Review
(1) General. The following procedures are for persons who intend to undertake development
projects within the downtown Juneau historic district.
Application is filed with the department.
The department schedules the application for review by the Design Review Board.
A notice of hearing is published at least three days prior to the hearing date.
The Design Review Board reviews and evaluates the site development plan with
consideration of the following:
Preservation of the historical outward appearance and original design if development or
work involves modification to existing buildings.
Harmony of scale, architectural style, sidewalk level use, and materials with the
existing historical character if development involves construction of a new building.
The director issues a site development plan permit with the board's action.
(b) Major Projects - The following items are required for major rehabilitation or renovation
and new construction within the historic district. These shall accompany the application form
and must be submitted to the department for review, including the Design Review Board, and the
The applicant shall submit three copies of the application signed by the applicant and,
if the premises are leased, by the owner. The location of the property shall be clearly
indicated on an attached map.
The applicant shall submit current color photographs of the site and existing structures
showing both the overall condition of the structures, the materials, and color. The applicant
shall also submit color photographs of contiguous sites and structures showing prevalent
architectural styles and the character of the area. All photographs shall be leveled to indicate
the direction of the view and shall be mounted on 8 ½ x 11 inch heavy artist display board,
matte board, or heavy bond.
Major exterior modification applications shall include three copies of a site plan showing
the existing structure and its relationship to the site and all proposed alterations and additions.
These drawings must be scale, and copies may be blue lines, black lines, or of similar quality.
The applicant shall submit three copies of elevations of all facades with street frontage
and any facades which are visible from the street showing proposed fenestration, canopies, signs,
exterior equipment, and appropriate architectural detailing. Proposed building materials and
finishes must be indicated with color and texture and must be of a scale appropriate to show the
required detail. These drawings must be to scale, keyed to the sample required in subsection 5
of this section, and may be hand-colored blue lines, black lines, or of a similar quality.
Samples of materials and photographs of products to be used in exterior finishing shall be
provided. These may include color chips, samples of molding, or photographs of architectural
details to be incorporated in the exterior finishing. These shall be keyed to the elevations
required in subsection 4 of this section, and must be mounted on heavy artist display board.
If the Design Review Board requires modification to the submitted exhibition or additional
submittal due to unusual conditions, these shall be submitted by the applicant as requested by
the board prior to the applicant receiving a site development plan permit.
4 CBJAC 080.020 HISTORIC DISTRICT -- GENERAL GUIDELINES. The following guidelines are intended
to provide the applicant with an idea of the general criteria the Design Review Board will employ
when reviewing proposals for the downtown historic district. They are designed to preserve the
characteristics which typify development in the district and provide the basis for the more
specific design standards which follow in the next section.
All alterations to existing structures should be performed so as to preserve the historical
and architectural character of Juneau's downtown historic district.
The distinguishing original qualities or character of a building, structure, or site and its
environment shall not be destroyed. The removal or alteration of any historic material or
destruction of architectural features should be avoided when possible.
All buildings, structures, and sites should be recognized as products of their own time.
Alterations that have no historical basis should be discouraged.
Changes which may have taken place in the course of time are evidence of the history and
development of a building, structure, or site, and its environment. These changes may have
acquired significance of their own, which should be recognized and respected.
Contemporary design for alterations and additions to existing properties shall not be
discouraged when such alterations or additions do not destroy the historical character of
the structure. The same will hold true of new construction, that is contemporary design
shall not be discouraged if it does no violate the historic district as a whole. Design
proposals for both new construction and alterations to existing structures must be compatible
with the size, scale, color, material, and character of the property, the immediately
surrounding structures, and those in the historic district.
4 CBJAC 080.030 DESIGN STANDARDS GENERAL. The following design standards apply to both
new construction and alterations to existing structures. The first three standards, for
heights, setbacks and roofs, collectively define the form of the street scape. The next
three standards for retail storefronts, windows, and architectural details, are all listed
under "front facade." These elements both define the character of a building
and contribute to the character of the historic district as a whole. The remaining design
standards for finishing materials, color, canopies, signs, and service lines, apply to the
exterior of buildings. They also contribute to both the character of the facade and
collectively, to the street scape.
4 CBJAC 080.040 EXCEPTIONS. The Design Review Board may, in special cases make
exceptions to the design standards provided the alternative does not distract from
the character of the district. In such cases, the board's findings must include
written justification for granting such exceptions.
4 CBJAC 080.050. HEIGHT, SETBACKS, AND ROOF STANDARDS.
Height Standard. Building height requirements are broken down into four
subdistricts, comprising thirty-five foot, thirty-eight foot, forty-five foot
and fifty-five foot height restriction areas. The location of these subdistricts
is shown on the height standard map.
Setback Standard. Front and side setbacks for new construction or
additions shall maintain the visual continuity of the street scape.
Roof Standard. New construction or alterations to existing structures
shall respect the original roof form, and shall create the appearance of a
horizontal parapet wall from the street. Mechanical equipment and other
appurtenances located on the roof must be adequately screened so as to not
be visible from the street level.
4 CBJAC 080.060 FRONT FACADES.
Retail Storefront. Alterations to the
facade of a building at the first floor level shall conform as nearly as possible
to the original design of the building if that building is on a major street and
if the original building employed a typical storefront type of facade. A proposed
change of use in itself shall not justify an exception and shall require that the
building employ mitigating elements to satisfy this guideline. New construction on
a major street shall also utilize the elements and proportions of a typical storefront
facade at street level.
Window Standard. Windows in new construction shall conform in outward appearance
to the style, materials, proportions and placement of windows typical of the historic
district. If an existing structure is altered, the replacement windows shall match as
nearly as possible the dimensions and subdivisions of those original to the structure.
The suggested material for windows, including all elements associated with the exterior
fenestration such as the trim, sash, frame, sill, and transom, is wood. Windows of other
materials and styles are not acceptable, unless they are found to match in size, proportion,
color and detail the wood sash typical of the historic district.
Architectural Standard. The original architectural details such as moldings, cornices,
brackets, columns, and pilasters, of a building shall be maintained in good repair. If they
must be replaced for maintenance purposes or during the course of minor alterations, they
should be replaced as nearly as possible with elements of the same type and of similar or
compatible materials. If substantial replacement is required due to deterioration or a major
alteration to the building, the elements shall conform in dimension and detail to those on the
original structure. In the case of new construction, architectural details shall be suitable
to the building itself and shall conform in dimension and detail with precedents found on
comparable buildings or within the district.
4 CBJAC 080.070. EXTERIOR STANDARDS.
Finishing Material Standard. Finishing materials
used in repairing or partially replacing exterior walls should match as closely as possible
the materials used on the existing buildings. Where appropriate to the rehabilitation of the
building, finishing materials used in major alterations to a building should match as closely
as possible the original material used on the building in dimension, texture, and finish.
Recommended finishing materials for both new construction and alterations to existing structures
are horizontal wood siding, such as shiplap, tongue and groove, clapboard siding, and smooth
stucco finish. All buildings must be painted or finished with semi-transparent stain.
Color Standard. All siding, wood trim, and window trim shall be finished with paint or
a semi-transparent stain. All colors and the placement of color on the building should preserve
or emphasize structural detailing. All colors and color combinations shall be subject to
approval by the Design Review Board.
Canopy Standard. If canopies are removed during alteration, they must be replaced by canopies
in accordance with the following design standards. Canopies must be provided in new construction as
well, and where appropriate must allow for a horizontal continuation of the canopies on adjacent or
contiguous buildings. Materials traditionally associated with "add-on" or temporary canopies
or awnings, such as corrugated fiberglass, canvas, or aluminum are prohibited. Cantilevered concrete,
with suitable finishing materials, or wood frame construction should be employed with suitable roofing
materials such as asphalt. Canopies shall not follow the grade, but shall be hung horizontally and
shall step up with changes in grade, so as to keep within the character of existing canopies in the
4 CBJAC 080.080 DEFINITIONS. As used in this chapter, the following terms have the meanings set forth:
"Bracket" is a support element under eaves, shelves, or other overhangs; often more decorative
"Building Height" is the vertical distance from the average elevation of the adjoining ground
to the highest point of the coping of a flat roof.
"Canopy" is a roof like structure attached to a building projecting over the sidewalk.
"Clapboard" is a long, narrow board with one edge thicker than the other, overlapped to cover
the outer walls of frame structures; also known as weatherboard.
"Clerestory" is the upper part of the nave, transepts, and choir of a church containing windows;
also, any similar windowed wall or construction used for light and ventilation. Typically this occurs above
"Cornice" is the upper, projecting section of an entablature; also projecting ornamental molding
along the top of a building or wall.
"Double Hung Sash Window" is a window with two sash, one above the other, arranged to slide
vertically past each other.
"Facade" is the front of a building, part of a building facing the street.
"Parapet" is a low, solid, protective wall or railing along the edge of a roof or balcony.
"Pilaster" is a shallow pier attached to a wall; often decorated to resemble a classical column.
*Demolition hold for photographic documentation
The CBJ Building Code (Title 19) provides that the Building Department may hold a permit to demolish an
historic building for a period of five days to allow photographic documentation.
The code reference is 19.01.070(c)(1)(K)