New Construction

All new construction must be reviewed by the full commission at the regular monthly meeting. The historic preservation coordinator is available to consult with the property owner and the contractor in preparing the application for project review.

The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation regulates additions and new construction in standards 9 and 10:

(9) New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction will not destroy historic materials, features, and spatial relationships that characterize the property. The new work will be differentiated from the old and will be compatible with the historic materials, features, size, scale and proportion, and massing to protect the integrity of the property and its environment.

(10) New additions and adjacent or related new construction will be undertaken in a such a manner that, if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired


Applicants must present a project plan to the Historic District Commission and obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness before applying for a building permit. Special care should be taken to make the addition compatible to the existing structure, but not a copy. An addition could be shorter or narrower than the primary resource or perhaps the surface treatment could be complementary to the original structure. The following information describes the various components of the attached form.

Size of Resource
  • Height should generally be lower than the primary building.
  • The addition should generally be narrower than the primary structure.
Relationship to Street
  • The addition should be located behind the rear wall of the building or the side building line on a corner lot.
Roof Forms
  • Shall be consistent with the pitch of the roof of the primary resource as closely as possible or be appropriate to the style. For example, a front gable house could have a shed roofed or hipped addition if the roof pitch was correct.
Proportion of Openings
  • Both the size of new openings and their position and frequency on the building addition should relate to the primary structure.
  • Ratio of window area to solid wall for the facade as a whole.
  • While materials should be selected to complement the primary structure, including the use of identical materials, the use of alternate materials may be considered, especially when the addition is removed from the public right of way.
  • Color should complement or contrast primary resource.


Property owners are expected to complete a Historic District Commission project application form, submit clear drawings with specifications and receive a Certificate of Appropriateness before obtaining a building permit. The following information describes the various components of an appropriate garage design.

Size of Resource

Maximum height of 16 feet to the ridge

Desired Use Minimum Suggested Size
One car 12' by 20'
Two cars 20' by 20'
More than Two cars 24' by 20'


Relationship to Street/Site
  • The garage must be a fully detached structure.
  • If the garage is to be built within the setback, approval must be gained from both the Historic District Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals.
  • The garage must be located behind the rear wall of the building or the side building line on a corner lot (see illustration #15).
  • Shall match the pitch of the roof of the primary resource as closely as possible.
  • If gabled, the gable end shall face the street. Doors and windows 1. The salvage and installation of smaller-scaled, sliding track or side-hinged doors shall be encouraged.
  • Preferably overhead garage doors will be single doors. Double doors will be considered. 3. Wooden doors are preferred, but metal is acceptable. In all cases the doors must be paneled and not flat.
  • Windows in the door may be acceptable.
  • Any windows or “human doors” shall meet Commission standards.

Exterior siding shall be selected from the following list:

  • Exterior treatment, which matches primary structure, horizontal, wood siding board and batten/false board and batten.
  • The garage shall be trimmed around the windows and doors and at the corners with 1x stock, typically l x 4 or 1 x 6 or to match the house.

Color should complement or contrast primary resource

Historic Preservation Standards: New Construction, Garages


Occasionally small outbuildings are needed for storing yard maintenance equipment, bicycles and other items. Outbuildings should be placed at the rear of the lot, preferably on a site with little visibility from the street. The structure can resemble a chicken coop or garden shed or any other small structure that might have been found in an urban neighborhood. There are several appropriate shed kits available at home supply stores. (See illustration #16.) Occasionally small wooden storage buildings placed in an inconspicuous place on the property can be reviewed and approved administratively.

The structure should:

  • Be made of wood.
  • Be painted to complement or match the primary structure.
  • Have at least one window if possible.
  • Have doors in proportion to the structure.
  • Be on a concrete pad or have footings.

The structure should not:

  • Be made of metal
  • Have a gambrel or barn style roof.

NOTE: Storage sheds with a total floor area of less than 200 square feet do NOT require a building permit.

Historic Preservation Standards: New Construction, Outbuildings


New Construction

Infill construction within a historic district should complement the other structures in the neighborhood in scale and design. Placement on the lot is very important in maintaining the rhythm of the streetscape. Zoning and planning departments should be involved in the earliest possible stages of designing a new building. A joint meeting with the historic preservation coordinator, the building official and the zoning official is strongly recommended. For example:

  • If all the houses on the street are set back about twenty feet, the new house should have the same setback.
  • If the houses all have driveways on the left side, the same pattern should be continued.
  • The house should be in scale with other nearby houses. If the houses are all two stories tall, the new house should be nearly the same height.

The use of vinyl or synthetic siding will be considered for new construction as a way of differentiating it from the historic houses. Of course, it is the discretion of the new owner and the builder to propose a siding for their project.