Historic Conservation District
Charlottesville created the Historic Conservation District (HCD) designation 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 requires 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 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 referenced and reinforced when applying the guidelines.
An HCD is different from an Architectural Design Control District (ADC DIstrict) in three main respects: (1) Unlike in an ADC District, where review is required of all exterior changes to existing buildings, in an HCD no BAR approval is required for rehabilitations of an existing building, or for smaller additions and demolitions; (2) The HCD guidelines have been greatly condensed and simplified; and (3) The residents of an HCD help identify neighborhood features to be preserved.