Historic District Commission Focusing on Communication and Outreach

Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017
Historic District Commission Focusing on Communication and Outreach
Before exterior changes could be made to this house in the Historic District, the owners submitted an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness. The house at 404 Calvin St. won a 2017 award for preservation from the Historic District Commission.

To better communicate its mission and the requirements for those living within the Historic District, the Hillsborough Historic District Commission has created two subcommittees.

The Town of Hillsborough advisory board created the communications and outreach subcommittees this summer. The Communications Subcommittee will plan training events and will work with the Hillsborough Public Information Office to prepare news articles, news releases and website content. The Outreach Subcommittee will welcome and educate new residents to the Historic District about Hillsborough’s history and the process for a Certificate of Appropriateness, which is required for any exterior changes to property.

“It has come to our attention over the course of this year that even longtime residents are unsure of what changes to their property require a Certificate of Appropriateness and that many are uncomfortable putting their application packet together,” said Cheri Szcodronski, a member of the commission and chairwoman of its communications subcommittee.

The two committees were created to:

  • Better communicate the Historic District Commission’s mission and the requirements for Historic District residents.
  • To improve outreach with residents.

“The goal is to develop a true partnership in preservation between the commission and the community,” Szcodronski said.

Application examples

To help Historic District residents and property owners navigate the process for making changes to their properties, the commission has added examples of excellent applications for a Certificate of Appropriateness to the town’s website. The examples on the Certificate of Appropriateness page include applications for commercial, residential and porch renovations and for the building of a fence and shed.

Residents within Hillsborough’s historic district must apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness before making any exterior changes to their property, including activities like porch alterations, window and door replacements, building additions, and tree removal. The Historic District Commission, which has a quasi-judicial role, reviews the applications and makes decisions based on the Hillsborough Historic District Design Guidelines.

Commission members and Planning Department staff are available to answer questions and to provide help in making the application process as easy as possible while still providing the information that the advisory board needs.

More information

The Historic District Commission is a volunteer board consisting of seven residents with demonstrated interest or professional experience in historic preservation, architecture, or history. Its mission is to identify, protect and preserve Hillsborough’s architectural resources and to educate the public about those resources and about historic preservation in general.

“We intend to continue these efforts by developing welcome packets for new Historic District residents and by educating the community through news releases, social media, and news articles,” Szcodronski said.

Visit the Historic District Commission page to learn more about the commission and to see a map of the Historic District. For more information or for help with an application, contact the commission’s staff support, Planner Justin Snyder, by email or by phone at 919-296-9473.