Historic District Commission
The Historic District Commission reviews applications for exterior changes within the Hillsborough Historic District. A majority of the commission’s members have specialized training or an interest in architecture, preservation, archaeology, history or building methods.
All meetings are open to the public.
For more information, contact Planning and Economic Development Manager Shannan Campbell by email or by phone at 919-296-9477.
The commission’s mission is to identify, protect and preserve Hillsborough's architectural resources and to educate the public about those resources and preservation in general.
The commission has a 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 Hillsborough Historic District presents a visual history of Hillsborough's development. The town chose to respect this development history through passage of a preservation ordinance in 1973, creating the district. A structure is considered historic if it falls within the period of significance. This period ends 50 years before the current year.
The Historic District includes the town’s commercial core and the surrounding residential neighborhoods. It contains more than 100 houses, churches and buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Included is development from Georgian- and Federal-style buildings dating to the late 1700s to contemporary construction. The district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It is unlawful to begin construction, moving, demolition, alteration or restoration of any structure or site within the Historic District before a Certificate of Appropriateness has been issued.
Certain exterior improvements to a site or structure in the Historic District may be either exempt from permitting or approvable as a minor works Certificate of Appropriateness by Planning and Economic Development Division staff. Prior to making any exterior changes to a site or structure, applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss the proposal with staff to determine which process governs their project and to avoid potential after-the-fact permit penalties and enforcement.
Historic District Design Standards (adopted and effective Sept. 3, 2021)
The commission conducts an annual awards program for noteworthy historic preservation projects in Hillsborough.
- Term expires May 31, 2023
- Term expires Aug. 31, 2021
- Term expires Dec. 31, 2023
Jill Heilman — chair
- Term expires Sept. 30, 2021
- Term expires Nov. 30, 2022
Virginia Smith — vice chair
- Term expires Jan. 30, 2022
- Term expires April 30, 2022