Certificate of Appropriateness
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 by the Planning and Economic Development Division and Historic District Commission.
The Hillsborough Historic District Design Standards were developed to guide the commission in reviewing applications for:
- Changes to existing buildings
- New construction and additions
- Changes to historic district setting
The standards also provide information on exempt and minor works, as well as other architectural and historic resources. Applicants should consult the design standards before applying for a Certificate of Appropriateness.
Historic District Design Standards (adopted and effective Sept. 3, 2021)
The deadline for submitting a completed Certificate of Appropriateness application is noon on Wednesday, three weeks prior to a Historic District Commission meeting. For meeting dates, times and locations, see the town calendar.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to hold a pre-application conference with town staff at least four to six weeks prior to the submittal deadline to discuss the project in detail. Additionally, applicants are encouraged to submit complete application packages as early as possible, as the commission allows a maximum of four major certificate applications on each agenda (see the resolution linked below). Any applications that are incomplete or received after the first four deemed complete by staff will automatically be placed on the next agenda with available space. Complete applications for work deemed to be minor and which does not meet the standards for staff-level review as a minor work, but instead requires commission review, will be added to an agendas as space becomes available.
To schedule a pre-application meeting or submit an application, contact Historic District Commission support staff.
Below are some examples of completed application packets. These examples are intended to provide guidance as to the types of information the commission is looking for in a completed application. However, each application may have its own requirements based on the diversity and intensity of changes being proposed. The examples below are not all-inclusive and are intended only to serve as a guide for those completing the application.