Historic Preservation Commission
The Historic Preservation Commission meets on the 3rd Thursday of each monthat 7:30 p.m. in the Borough auditorium, two weeks before the Planning Board meeting. (The Planning Board meets the 1st Tuesday of the month.)
HPC Technical Consultant:
NEW! DESIGN GUIDELINES (PDF)
WHY A HISTORICAL DISTRICT?
The center of Haddonfield and certain residential areas surrounding the business district are part of Haddonfield's Historic District. The purpose of Haddonfield's Historic District Ordinance, passed by public referendum and enacted in 1971, is "to safeguard the heritage of the Borough of Haddonfield by preserving that part of the Borough which reflects elements of its cultural, social, economic and architectural history." The creation of a historic district, in contrast to individual historic designations, preserves the overall historic environment for future generations. The Haddonfield Historic District Ordinance can be viewed at the link to the right.
Historic District designation protects the entire ensemble, both the public spaces of the streets and private property of individual lots. The streetscapes have an architectural harmony that is enhanced by trees, brick sidewalks, garden, fences and gates. In the business district architectural harmony includes storefronts, signs, lighting, awnings and paving - the amenities that contribute to Haddonfield's historic character.
Haddonfield's Historic District includes four hundred eighty-eighty houses, buildings, and sites in the town's historic core of which more than 150 are considered to be of the highest historical or architectural significance. The entire Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (1982) as well as the NJ Register of Historic Places (1980). The dual listing in addition to the local designation provides an important combination of protective mechanisms.
If a building, structure, site, etc. in the Historic District is not one of the 150 considered of the highest architectural or historical significance, it still plays a very important role in the District. As a “contributing” building, structure, site, etc., it reflects or “contributes” to the historical or architectural character of the District.
CRITERIA FOR PRESERVATION
In general, a building, complex of buildings, structure, site, object or district may be designated for preservation in a Historic District and/or on the National and State Registers if it has met the following criteria:
A. Has significant character, interest or value as part of the heritage or cultural characteristics of the municipality, state or nation or is associated with the life of a person significant in the past; or
B. Is associated with an event of importance to the history of the municipality, state or nation; or
C. Reflects the environment in an era characterized by a distinctive architectural style; or
D. Embodies distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style or engineering specimen; or
E. Is the work of a designer, architect, landscape architect or designer, or engineer whose work has significantly influenced the historical, architectural, economic, social, or cultural development of the municipality, state or nation; or
F. Contains elements of design, detail, materials, or craftsmanship which possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or
G. Is part of or related to a park or other distinctive area which should be preserved according to a historic, cultural or architectural motif; or
H. Has yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important to prehistory or history; or
I. Exemplifies the cultural, political, economic, social or historical heritage of the community.
More information can be found in the publication "Historic Houses in Haddonfield: A Preservation Guide", which available for pdf download on this page and in hard copy through the Haddonfield Library.
An Annual Letter is sent to all residents of the Historic District to remind them that their homes are located in the Historic District and to inform them of any new information or resources available from the Borough pertaining to the Historic District.
The Borough ordinance requires property owners in the District to obtain approval or a "Certificate of Appropriateness" from the Planning Board before making exterior changes to the buildings, structures or sites (see below for a short list). A Certificate of Appropriateness requires an application be made to the Zoning Office. The process includes design review by the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) and then final approval from the Planning Board. As an advisory board to the Planning Board, the HPC reviews the application at their monthly public meeting and produces a written report with recommendations for the use of the Planning Board during the application's final review.
The HPC is a seven member board (five voting, two alternates) composed of laypeople and professionals who are knowledgeable about historic preservation and building repairs. Their responsibilities are to advise the Planning Board and Zoning Board on development applications; advise the Planning Board on the inclusion of historic sites; promote historic preservation through advisory, educational and informational functions; and provide, upon request, technical assistance to property owners on how to preserve, restore and rehabilitate structures. The HPC is also available to advise property owners, upon request, as to the accuracy of historic restoration, including materials, fenestration, architectural detail, environment and color.
Below is a short list that provides some, but not all, of the most common types of exterior projects that property owners undertake that require a Certificate of Appropriateness based on a design review of their application by the HPC:
- Window & door replacement
- Roofing & gutter removal or replacement
- Additions to existing buildings
- Fencing, lighting & walkways
- Siding removal & replacement
- Porch & railing replacement
- Demolition of any structures
- Installation of solar panels
If you are in doubt about a planned change, consult the Zoning Officer in Borough Hall who can quickly determine whether a Certificate of Appropriateness is required. To assist and guide property owners with the application process, the Borough has a Historic Preservation consultant, Ms. Lisa Soderberg, on staff to answer questions about the requirements of the Historic District Ordinance. Ms. Soderberg can also provide technical advice, general preservation information as well as make arrangements for informal advisory meetings with the HPC.
HOW TO FILL OUT AN APPLICATION
A complete Certificate of Appropriateness Application requires the following:
1. Applications by business entities must be represented by legal counsel;
2. Photographs of the building in question depicting the subject matter of the application;
3. A written description of the proposed work;
4. Proposed architectural drawings (including elevation, drawings, floor plans, site layout, etc.)
5. Material specifications (e.g. architect's technical specifications or manufacturer's literature describing or depicting the proposed materials;
6. Historical documentation (e.g. historical photographs) supporting the proposed architectural decisions; and such other diagrams, architectural drawings, specifications, or other materials, sufficient to adequately inform the Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Board of the nature of the proposed work."
The Ordinance requires that "the applicant shall submit such photographs, diagrams, architectural drawings, specifications, or other materials, sufficient to adequately inform the Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Board of the nature of the work for which the application is made."An incomplete application may cause delays in the review process. For any questions, contact the Zoning Office or the HPC Preservation Consultant.
HOW TO OBTAIN A CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
Deadline for application: Submission deadline for applications and required supporting material is 24 days prior to the Historic Preservation Commission meeting or 28 days prior to the Planning Board meeting, whichever date is earlier. The schedule for all Borough Board meetings can be found at the Borough Meeting Calendar link in the Quick Reference box
A Certificate of Appropriateness is not needed for minor repairs wherein the cost of such repairs is less than $250 AND the repairs in question constitute an exact replacement of that which existed prior to the repairs in question. The definition of a minor repair, as stated in the Ordinance, is "renovation(s) to the exterior of a building or structure that do not alter the exterior elements of the structure (example: change of color or style of roof covering with the same material)."
If your project fits the above criteria, please submit an application to the Zoning Officer with photographs of the existing conditions and estimate of the cost. The Zoning Officer will send a copy of the report to the Chairperson of the HPC so that he/she can, if he/she deems it necessary, inspect the “before” condition, determine whether repair or replacement is required, and whether the completed work is satisfactory. The HPC Chairperson will then send a written report of his/her findings to the Zoning officer.
However, if you are in doubt about a planned change, consult the Zoning Officer in Borough Hall who can quickly determine whether a Certificate of Appropriateness is required. Remember that roofing, siding and any alteration in the exterior appearance of the structure require a Certificate. If proposed changed entail extensive structural renovation, a registered architect or engineer may be required.
Emergency repairs shall consist only of those immediate remedial actions undertaken to alleviate the cause of damage to life or property where time will not permit the owner to obtain a certificate of appropriateness and a building permit prior to their undertaking.
Please contact the Zoning Office as quickly as possible in an emergency situation. Upon notification by the property owner to the Zoning Officer, that officer shall request the Chairman of the HPC to inspect the property, or assign a qualified member of the Commission to do so, and determine the nature of the emergency, whether repair is feasible or, if not, the appropriateness of the replacement. The Chairman may call upon qualified professional expertise to assist in this determination. The Chairman shall provide a written report to the Zoning Officer so that a permit may be issued.
HOW TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION:
Although a licensed contractor may obtain the application and permit, ultimate responsibility for obtaining a permit rests with the owner of the property.
STEP 1 - The Application: Pick up an "Application for Certificate of Appropriateness" from the Zoning Officer in Borough Hall or download the application from this web page (see Quick Reference box). Review the above requirements to complete the application. Please provide an email address in addition to a home and cell phone number for Zoning Office questions regarding your application or to receive information regarding scheduled meeting agendas.
STEP 2 - Completion of Application: Before you have the application copied (25 copies of application with all enclosures), bring the completed application to the Zoning Office where it will be reviewed. The Zoning Officer will determine if additional information necessary.
Additions may also require variances of other approvals by the Planning or Zoning Boards.
STEP 3 - HPC Meeting: Please plan to attend the Commission's meeting when your application is reviewed. It is important that you are present to discuss the work with the Commission and answer any questions that they may have. If you are unable to attend, please inform the Zoning Office and your application review can be rescheduled to the next HPC monthly meeting. The link to the Borough Meeting Calendar is listed in the Quick Reference box. After reviewing the application, the Commission will prepare a written report making recommendations to the Planning Board. A copy will be made available to you prior to the Planning Board meeting.
STEP 4 - Planning Board Meeting: Attend the Planning Board meeting when your application is reviewed to discuss the work and the Commission's recommendations. A member of the Commission will also be present to discuss the work. The Planning Board has the authority to approve or deny the application.
STEP 5 - Building Permit: Pick up your Building Permit from the Zoning Officer in Borough Hall any time after the Certificate of Appropriateness is approved.
NEW! HPC DESIGN GUIDELINES:
This year, to assist property owners with navigating through the review process, the HPC has proposed Historic Preservation Commission Design Guidelines. The guidelines will serve as a supplemental resource to provide additional educational information in an easy-to-read "Recommended/Not Recommended" list format.
This information will help applicants understand how the Historic District Ordinance is applied by the HPC to make recommendations for approval of Certificates of Appropriateness. The content of the guidelines is based on our Historic District Ordinance, which used the Secretary of Interior Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings as its foundational document. The design guidelines are being proposed solely to provide reference educational information for anyone in the Borough who interacts with the HPC. They are not to be considered a new ordinance nor as an addition or revision to the existing Historic District Ordinance.
The HPC is welcoming public comments on the proposed Design Guidelines. As a property owner in the Historic District, we welcome and value your participation in the process of adopting these guidelines. The draft design guidelines can be viewed at the HPC website listed earlier in this letter. Please direct your initial public comments to Ms. Lee Albright, HPC Chairperson, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate in your e-mail if you would like your e-mail address to be added to the Borough’s HPC e-mail notification list.
Also, the proposed design guidelines will be discussed at the Planning Board’s monthly public meeting on February 7, 2012 at 7:30pm at Borough Hall.
2012 Proposed Guidelines (pdf 1.9 MB)
2012 Letter to Homeowners in the Historic District (pdf 374 KB)