Historic Preservation Commission (HPC)


The City of Lake Forest Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) was established in 1992 as a continuation of the City’s long tradition of taking proactive steps to preserve the historic character of Lake Forest.

The Commission consists of 7 Lake Forest residents who are nominated by the Lake Forest Caucus and appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council.  Commissioners serve for a maximum of three two-year terms.

The Commission reviews projects that are inside the boundaries of LAKE FOREST’S Historic Districts and THOSE that affect individual landmark properties throughout the City.  The City’s planning staff of the Community Development initially reviews building permit requests AND THE VAST MAJORITY OF THESE ARE approved by City offices.  The more challenging and sometimes controversial projects ARE referred to the HPC AND include the following:

  • Review proposals for complete and partial demolition
  • Review new construction and request for Building Scale variances
  • Review and evaluate the design and compatibility of additions and alternations.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Review background material prepared by city staff (see Procedures and Process, below)
  • Visit the sites on the meeting agenda
  • Consider all testimony presented at the public meeting
  • Deliberate in an open forum


  • Knowledge of architecture
  • Historic knowledge of Lake Forest

Procedures and Process

One of the first steps for a petitioner is to determine whether a project will require HPC review.  Petitioners are encouraged to schedule a pre-application meeting with City’s planning staff of the Community Development early in a project’s design phase.  Staff will identify issues or concerns that may arise as well as provide direction on the required process.  If the application is referred to the HPC, the following steps will take place in the approximately 45 days between the application and the HPC meeting.

  • The application will be reviewed for completeness by city staff.  The petitioner is notified of any additional materials or needed clarification.
  • Once complete, the item will be placed on the agenda for the next HPC meeting.
  • Staff from various City departments will review the application and visit the site.
  • The city will mail notification of the petition to neighboring residents
  • A staff recommendation will be prepared for consideration by the HPC.  The recommendation, along with the materials provided by the petitioner, will be delivered to the Commission members in advance.  Copies of the staff recommendation will be available to the petitioner and members of the public  before the meeting at the Community Development Department.

HPC members review the package of materials and staff recommendations prior to the meeting and will typically will go out to view the property and the surrounding community.

At the meeting, the HPC will hear a presentation from the petitioners and their representatives, listen to issues identified by the City Staff, ask questions and invite comments from the petitioner and members of the public.

After discussion, the HPC will make a recommendation to the city council.  In some cases, the petition may be referred to a subcommittee to expedite the process.  After the petition receives final approval, either as submitted or with modifications, the petitioner may submit a complete building permit application to the Community Development Department.  Upon review and approval of the final plans, a permit will be issued to allow the project to begin.

Time Commitment

  • Meetings occur on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 6:30 PM in the City Council Chambers in City Hall, 220 E. Deerpath.
  • The estimated time commitment is 6-8 hours per month.


Link to City website Historic Preservation Commission