Harford County adopts historic preservation guidelines

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Jul. 5—The Harford County Historic Preservation Commission voted in June to adopt additional standards to the Harford County Historic Preservation Design Guidelines approved last year that effectively expand its guidelines to protect historic properties.

The updates incorporate public input, add design standards for historic districts and guidance on sustainability in historic preservation, aimed at detailing best practices for rehabilitating historic properties.

The first change outlined how to identify a potential historic district — such as buildings of similar age, said Cindy Mumby, director of governmental and community relations for the county. The second change involved sustainability, such as how green energy, like solar panels, could be incorporated, and issues like weatherization of historic properties, Mumby said.

The adoption of the updated guidelines fulfills a historic preservation goal of HarfordNEXT, the county's master plan under the administration of County Executive Barry Glassman. This project was partially supported by a Certified Local Government Grant from the Maryland Historical Trust, funded by the National Park Service.

Prior to adopting these changes, the county government held a month-long public input period and a public meeting in addition to providing other opportunities at Historic Preservation Commission meetings where comments could have been made, Mumby said.

Public comments were mainly supportive of the changes as presented, Mumby said. The Havre de Grace Historic Preservation Commission called the guidelines "reasonable" and "explicit," and one citizen supported the guidelines for retaining original windows, Mumby said..

The 2022 Harford County Historic Preservation Design Guidelines can be viewed and downloaded on the county's website, harfordcountymd.gov.

For more about the historic preservation program and nomination process for Harford County historic landmarks, visit https://www.harfordcountymd.gov/3415/Harford-County-Historic-Landmarks-and-Di.