The City of Yakima has entered into a contract with Northwest Vernacular for consulting services to develop Historic Overlay District Guidelines for Naches Avenue.

What is a Historic Overlay Zone?

An overlay zone provides additional regulations and/or incentives to protect a specific resource or encourage specific development. Historic overlay zones focus on significant character-defining features related to infill, such as lot size, building height, setbacks, streetscapes, and street tree protection. The purpose of the Naches Ave Historic Overlay Zone would be to:

  • Increase housing density;
  • Support infill middle housing;
  • Manage anticipated development pressure;
  • Retain the public open space and the link to downtown;
  • Encourage compatible infill development; and
  • Preserve historic character.

Historic Districts, on the other hand, typically involve a higher level of existing building exterior and site regulation, and focus on specific architectural features. As stated by the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP), “a Historic Overlay District, sometimes called a Conservation District, is a zoning tool used to preserve, revitalize, protect, and enhance significant older areas of a community beyond what is specified in the standard code. The conservation overlay regulations are applied in addition to standard zoning regulations. Overlay Districts will differ from neighborhood to neighborhood depending on the area’s character and needs.”

Naches Avenue’s Significance

Naches Avenue is a residential street that existed during the foundation of the city and has been a working avenue throughout Yakima’s development. Naches Avenue is the location of homes of many architectural styles such as Classical and Colonial Revival, Folk Victorian, and Craftsman. The Naches Parkway is a defining characteristic of Naches Avenue.

Presentation to Historic Preservation Commission (4/26/23)

Naches Ave Local Inventory Surveys

North Naches Ave Survey Results

South Naches Ave Survey Results

Next Steps