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Historic Preservation Review Board vs Historic Preservation Office Review

Major work on a historic property must be evaluated by the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB), but minor work qualifies for expedited review by the Historic Preservation Office (HPO), provided it is compatible with HPRB design standards.

Work Requiring HPRB Review

Substantial alterations, large construction projects, and some subdivisions must be reviewed by HPRB. HPRB also reviews minor work proposals that HPO has found incompatible with HPRB design standards, or otherwise needing HPRB review. You should anticipate a review within 30 to 60 days of filing, although it may be longer depending on the nature of the preservation issues involved.

Work Qualifying for HPO Review

Most minor work on historic properties, including repairs, unobtrusive alterations, and storefront upgrades qualify for review by HPO. HPO can typically review and give a historic preservation clearance within the same day, if it includes the required application materials, the proposed work is consistent with HPRB standards, and if it does not require a site visit or an in-depth full staff review.

HPO may require more time (typically up to five business days) to review small additions, garages, sheds, work requiring a mock-up or visibility test, or applications with large drawing sets or scopes of work.

Work Exempt from Historic Preservation Review

Some building work either does not require a permit at all, or does not require historic preservation review.