Historic Preservation

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Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal
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Harford County Historic Preservation Design Guidelines Draft for Public Review

The Harford County Department of Planning and Zoning and the Harford County Historic Preservation Commission are seeking public input on the draft Harford County Historic Preservation Design Guidelines, which will illustrate the best practices for rehabilitation. This tool will serve all owners of historic properties as well as Planning and Zoning staff and the Historic Preservation Commission. Comments will be accepted through April 23, 2021.

Submit your comments by e-mail here or by mail to:

Harford County Dept. of Planning & Zoning

Attn: Jacob Bensen

220 S. Main Street, Bel Air, MD 21014


A public meeting on the proposed Guidelines will be held virtually on April 7, 2021 at 7 PM. Access information is available at:

https://www.harfordcountymd.gov/AgendaCenter/Historic-Preservation-Commission-53

Historic Preservation in Harford County

Harford County contains an extremely rich and diverse collection of culturally significant historic resources. Historic resources consist of buildings, structures, landscapes, cemeteries, archeology sites, and communities that reflect the history of our County.  These resources and their settings provide continuity with the past, establish a tangible sense of place, enhance the visual quality of life in Harford County, and present opportunities for economic revitalization.

Historic preservation has long been advocated by Harford County through its plans and policies. As noted in Chapter 5 of HarfordNEXT,  “these resources provide a direct link to our past, contributing to our sense of community and offering continuity as Harford County continues to grow and evolve.”

Historic preservation can provide renaissance opportunities and strengthen the local tax base, as well as foster community identity and stability. Through continuing efforts with the general public and key stakeholders, the Department of Planning and Zoning strives to improve preservation information and processes to leave a visible legacy for learning and enjoyment by future generations.

A key stakeholder is the Historic Preservation Commission or HPC, which consists of seven volunteer members that are appointed by the County Executive. Members each process a demonstrated special interest, specific knowledge or professional or academic training in the fields of history, architecture, architectural history, planning, archaeology, anthropology, curation, conservation, landscape architecture, historic preservation, urban design or related disciplines. The HPC is staffed by the County’s Historic Preservation Planner. The HPC recommends Harford County properties for inclusion on theHarford County Historic Landmarks List, considers petitions for local Historic Districts, and reviews proposals for exterior alterations to designated County Historic Landmarks.

Services We Provide

-          Staff-level consultation on proposed Certificates of Appropriateness projects

-          HPC Review of proposed Certificate of Appropriateness applications

-          Guidance on tax credit applications to the county, State and/or federal programs

-          Consultation on rehab and restoration projects

-          Technical guidance on aspects of rehabilitation and maintenance of older buildings

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This information is related to Harford County’s priorities and strategies for Preserving our Heritage in HarfordNext.