Over 20 area cities now contract with the county for their landmark and historic designation needs.
StoryThe Metropolitan King County Council gave its unanimous approval to an interlocal agreement with the City of Renton today to provide landmark designation and protection services. Renton wanted a formal process for recognizing historic buildings, properties, and archaeological sites within its boundaries.
With this agreement, sponsored by Councilmembers Dave Upthegrove and Reagan Dunn, the county will handle landmarking services on the city’s behalf. Over 20 area cities now contract with the county for their landmark and historic designation needs.
“This is a win-win for Renton and the county,” said Councilmember Upthegrove. “The new agreement gives the City of Renton a process to recognize and preserve important historic properties, without reinventing the wheel.”
“This is about saving money for the taxpayers,” Councilmember Dunn said. “As more cities contract with the county for landmark services, it reduces the total costs for everybody.”
Because King County already has an existing Landmarks Commission (housed within the Department of Natural Resources and Parks), contracting with the county on landmarking services is an attractive option for cities. Renton will reimburse King County's Historic Preservation Program for administrative costs, but it will save money versus starting its own agency and process.
“This agreement with the King County Historic Preservation Program is an important step for the City of Renton,” said Renton Mayor Denis Law. “I look forward to seeing how this partnership will work to preserve Renton's history for future generations.”
In addition to the importance of historic preservation of key properties for the community, some of the properties designated as historic are eligible for tax benefits. As part of the new agreement, the City of Renton will pass an ordinance that is substantially the same as the county’s historic preservation ordinance to harmonize the city’s process with the county’s.