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Hillsborough Historic District
In 1973, the Hillsborough National Register Historic District was established under the National Historic Preservation Act (see link to the National Register Boundary map below). In the same year, the locally designated Historic District and the Hillsborough Historic District Commission were established by the Town Board.
The Historic District encompasses 2.5 centuries of architectural resources, including representative examples of the many architectural styles that reflect the broad time frame. From Georgian- and Federal-style buildings dating to the late 1700s to contemporary construction, the district presents a visual history of Hillsborough's development. Both Hillsborough's commercial core and the surrounding residential neighborhoods are included in this expansive historic district. Beyond the principal buildings, the context and setting created by the district landscape and a variety of outbuildings (such as detached kitchens, carriage houses, garage, sheds, stables, smokehouses and barns) also contribute to the district's special character. A map of the local Historic District may be viewed here.
Local historic districts like Hillsborough's are not established to prevent change but rather to ensure that future changes to properties are compatible with the historic and architectural character of the district. According to the National Register nomination, Hillsborough's period of historic significance is pre-Colonial to 1939. Buildings that were constructed before 1939 and that have not been modified to the extent that they have lost their architectural integrity are considered contributing. Buildings that were constructed post-1939 or that have been considerably altered are considered non-contributing. The status of a structure can be viewed on the local Historic District Map or in the Historic District Inventory. Please note that the map shows the contributing status of the primary structure on each parcel only and does not indicate the status of outbuildings or garages. The inventory goes into further detail.
Tax credits up to 30 percent for non-income-producing properties and 40 percent for income-producing properties may be available for restoration work on historically contributing properties in the Historic District. Please contact the State Historic Preservation Office for information about tax credits.
When the Hillsborough Historic District was established, the Town Board delegated authority to the Historic District Commission and adopted regulation over exterior changes into the Town Code. It is unlawful to begin construction, moving, demolition, alteration or restoration of any structure or site until a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) has been issued.
The Historic District Commission
The Historic District Commission is a seven-member volunteer board appointed by the Hillsborough Town Board that reviews applications for exterior changes within the Historic District. Its mission is to identify, protect and preserve Hillsborough's architectural resources and to educate the public about those resources and about preservation in general. A majority of the commission's members have specialized training or an interest in architecture, preservation, archaeology, history or building methods. In its quasi-judicial role, the commission hears evidence, determines relevant facts and then applies the law as it concerns the exterior changes to or demolition of any properties as well as new construction in the district.
The commission meets at 7 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month in the Town Barn. The Town Barn is located on the Town Hall campus at 101 E. Orange St. Access is from East Corbin Street.
The deadline for submitting a COA application is 12:00 p.m. on the Wednesday two weeks prior to the meeting date; however, the submittal of a complete application by the deadline will not guarantee time on the next agenda. It is suggested that you contact staff when considering any exterior changes to your property. The deadline dates are posted on the Planning Deadlines sheet, located at the bottom of the Planning Department webpage.
The Hillsborough Historic District Design Guidelines were developed to guide the commission in reviewing applications for changes to existing buildings, new construction and additions, the historic district setting, and relocation and demolition. The guidelines also provide information on exempt and minor works, as well as other architectural and historic resources. They are a useful tool for property owners, contractors, real estate agents and residents. An electronic copy of the guidelines is available below; hard copies are available from the Planning Department for a fee.
To schedule a pre-application meeting, submit a Certificate of Appropriateness application or for other questions regarding the Historic District or the Historic District Commission, contact Planner Stephanie Trueblood by e-mail or by phone at (919) 732-1270 Ext. 74.
Below are links to documents and information that will help in navigating the Historic District Commission's review process.
|Navigating the HDC Review Process||101.59 KB|
|Certificate of Appropriateness Form||143.32 KB|
|Hillsborough Historic District Design Guidelines 0911.pdf||2.57 MB|
|Map of the Local Historic District||226.2 KB|
|HDC Rules of Procedures||52 KB|
|National Register Historic District Boundary Map||208.05 KB|
|FINAL 2006 Inventory Update.pdf||409.9 KB|
|2013 HDC meeting schedule.pdf||11.21 KB|
|Name||Term Start||Term End||Board|
|Anna Currie / Vice Chair||03/14/2011||03/31/2014||Historic District Commission|
|Mark Bell / Chair||06/08/2009||06/08/2015||Historic District Commission|
|Mike Irwin||06/11/2012||06/30/2015||Historic District Commission|
|Holly Snyder||11/09/2009||11/30/2015||Historic District Commission|
|David McCullough||11/09/2009||11/30/2015||Historic District Commission|
|Candice Cobb||11/09/2009||11/30/2015||Historic District Commission|
|Zachary Read||02/08/2010||02/28/2016||Historic District Commission|
Meetings in the Next 60 Days
|Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 7:00pm||Historic District Commission|
|Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 7:00pm||Historic District Commission|
Previous Meeting Agenda and Minutes
For a list of meetings including agenda and minutes, click here.
For a list of archived meeting files, click here.
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