What is a Historic Conservation District?
The new “Historic Conservation District” designation is intended to protect the character and scale of the more modest historic Charlottesville neighborhoods that are facing increased development and tear-downs. Modern construction is encouraged, if done thoughtfully in concert with older structures. The designation will require review by the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) of all new construction, and certain additions and demolitions, all of which have the potential to change the character of the historic neighborhood. Otherwise, a Historic Conservation District does not impose requirements on the current residents who may want to rehabilitate their homes.
In reviewing new construction and additions the BAR and staff would use simple guidelines that focus on the objectives of protecting character and scale. In addition, the neighborhood residents help identify the character-defining features of the neighborhood that would be referenced and reinforced when applying the guidelines.
A Historic Conservation District is different from an Architectural Design Control (ADC) District in three main respects: (1) Unlike in an ADC District, where review is required of all exterior changes to existing buildings, in a Historic Conservation District no BAR approval is required for rehabilitations of an existing building, or for smaller additions and demolitions; (2) The Historic Conservation District guidelines have been greatly condensed and simplified; and (3) The residents of a Historic Conservation District help identify neighborhood features to be preserved.
Current Ordinance and Guidelines
Historic Conservation District COA Application Form
Historic Conservation Districts