Historic Resources, Preservation Of
Article I - Purpose and Definitions
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of Henderson County 10-3-2005, amended 4-15-2015]
The historical heritage of Henderson County is a valuable and important asset. By endeavoring to preserve historic
sites and landmarks, Henderson County seeks:
To safeguard the heritage of the County by preserving landmarks therein that embody important elements
of its culture, history, architectural history, or prehistory; and
To promote the use and conservation of such landmarks for the education, pleasure, and enrichment of the
residents of the County and state as a whole.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this
section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
Any change because of construction, repair, maintenance, or otherwise to buildings designated
as an historic landmark.
Archaeological Resources. Material evidence of past human activity which is found on or below the
surface of the ground, portions of which may be visible above the surface.
Building. Any structure, place, or other construction built for the shelter or enclosure of persons, animals,
Board of Commissioners. The Henderson County Board of Commissioners.
Certificate of appropriateness
(COA). A document evidencing approval of the Resources ©ommission
for work proposed to an historical landmark
by an applicant.
Construction. The erection of any onsite improvements on any parcel of ground designated as an historic
site or landmark, whether the site is presently improved, unimproved, or hereafter becomes unimproved by
demolition, destruction of the improvements located thereon by fire, windstorm, or other casualty.
Demolition. The complete or partial removal by an applicant of a building on any site.
Department of Cultural Resources. North Carolina Historic Preservation Office.
Designation. The creation of an historic property through the passage of an ordinance by the governing
Includes the architectural style, general design, and general arrangement of the exterior
of a building or other structure, including the kind and texture of the building material; the size and scale of
the building; and the type and style of all windows, doors, light fixtures, signs, and other appurtenant
fixtures. In the case of outdoor advertising signs, exterior
features shall be construed to mean the style,
material, size, and location of all such signs. Exterior features may, in the discretion of the local governing
board, include important landscape and natural features of the area.
Historic property. Any site, landmark, structure, or artifact that of special significance in terms of its
history, prehistory, architecture, archaeology and/or cultural importance to the history and development of
Henderson County, and that it possesses integrity of design, setting, workmanship, materials, feeling and/or
Jurisdiction. This shall apply in the unincorporated areas of Henderson County and in any municipality
that adopts this Ordinance and its design guidelines.
Ordinary repairs and maintenance. Work done on a building to prevent it from deterioration or to
replace any part thereof in order to correct any deterioration, decay, or damage to a building on any part
thereof in order to restore same as nearly as practical to its condition prior to such deterioration, decay or
The Henderson County Historic Resources Commission
Article II - Historic Resources Commission
Historic Resources Commission Established; Appointment; Terms and Qualifications of Members.
Creation. There is hereby established, by authority of Chapter 160A, Article 19, Part 3C, of the North
Carolina General Statutes, a joint historic Resources commission to be known as the Henderson County
Historic Resources Commission ("HRC). The Commission shall consist of not fewer than four and not
more than nine members appointed by the Board of Commissioners as provided below.
Appointment. In making appointments to the HRC, the Board of Commissioners shall appoint four
members who do not reside in any municipality which adopts this chapter and one member who resides
within the territorial limits of each municipality which adopts this chapter. For each municipality which
adopts this chapter, the Board of Commissioners shall appoint the member
who is required to reside in such
municipality recommended by each municipality. At the time of original appointments to the HRC,
Henderson County staff shall assign each of the seats initially to a term of one, two or three years.
Subsequent appointments of each of the seats on the HRC
shall be for a term of three years, so that after the
expiration of initial appointments, the term of each HRC
shall be for three years, with the terms of
approximately one-third of the membership of the HRC
Qualification of members. Each of the members of the Commission shall have demonstrated experience,
education or interest in history, architecture, archaeology, or related fields.
Powers and Duties of the Historic Resources Commission.
is authorized and empowered to undertake such actions reasonably necessary to the discharge and conduct
of its duties and responsibilities as outlined in this chapter and the North Carolina General Statutes, including but not
limited to the following:
Undertake an inventory of properties of historical, prehistoric, landscape, architectural, archaeological,
and/or cultural significance.
to the County individual buildings, structures, sites, areas, landscapes or objects within the
respective zoning jurisdiction to be designated as "historic landmarks."
Recommend to the County proposed ordinances regarding historic landmarks, and amendments to the
same, as requested by the Board of Commissioners.
Recommend to the County that designation of any building, structure, site, landscapes, area, or object as a
historic landmark, be revoked or removed for cause.
Review and recommend
proposals for alteration or demolition of designated landmarks, pursuant to this
Report violations of this chapter, or other ordinances affecting historic landmarks, to the Planning
Act as, establish, or designate a group, body, or committee to give advice to owners of historic landmarks
concerning the treatment of the historical and visual characteristics of their property, such as gardens and
landscape features, minor decorative elements, and for the informal review of major additions and new
Conduct educational and outreach programs on historic landmarks within the county.
Publish information, or otherwise inform the public, about any matters pertinent to its purview, duties,
organization, procedures, responsibilities, functions, or requirements.
Cooperate with state, federal and local governments in pursuing the purposes of this chapter.
Communicate with other boards or commissions in Henderson County or with agencies of the County or
other governmental units to offer or request assistance, aid, guidance, or advice concerning matters under
its purview or of mutual interest.
Prepare and recommend the official adoption of a historic preservation element as part of the County's
comprehensive plan and a municipality's comprehensive plan, at the request of the local governing body.
Organize itself and conduct its business, including any meetings or hearings necessary to carry out the
purposes of this chapter.
Submit an annual report to the state historic preservation office and to the County Board of Commissioners.
That report shall include a comprehensive review of the HRC's activities, actions and problems.
Research and apply for grants from other governmental and non-governmental sources for historic
Collaborate with the Tourism Department, Chamber of Commerce, Heritage Museum, and other local
entities supporting tourism or historic preservation in Henderson County.
Article III Historic Properties Designation
§49-5. Participation in Historic Landmark Program
This program is entirely voluntary and participants may opt in or opt out of the
program at any time. To opt-in to the program, applicants must complete the procedure below. To opt-
out of the program, participants must provide written notice to the Planning Department and Tax
Criteria for Historic Landmarks. No property shall be recommended for designation unless it is deemed
to be of historical, prehistorical, architectural, or cultural importance. It must also possess integrity of
design, setting, workmanship and/or materials. The following shall be considerations for selection:
Property is at least 100 years old, and
Property owner agrees to terms and conditions for designation as Historic Landmark, and
Property is associated with historic events that have shaped Henderson County, or
Property is tied to the lives of persons who influenced the economic, social, educational, or
cultural conditions of Henderson County, or
Property features distinct architectural style, method of construction, high artistic values, or
represents the work of a master architect or builder, or
Property represents the full spectrum of historic property types in the County including but not
limited to, residences, commercial buildings, churches, farmsteads, engineering features or parks,
Property yields or is likely to yield information important to the understanding of the history or
prehistory of Henderson County; and
Property has been accepted onto the State Historic Study list, signifying that it is considered
possibly eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.
The following are possible incentives for participation in the historic property designation program. The
availability of particular incentives depends on financial and personnel resources and shall be determined
by the Board of Commissioners.
Technical assistance - the HRC
may hold workshops on historic preservation, and compile a list of
grant programs, preservation societies, and other useful resources for people interested in historic
Promotional - the HRC may provide participants with recognition plaques, collaborate with
Tourism Department, Chamber and Heritage Museum to schedule possible tours or promotional
materials with listings of historic sites in Henderson County.
No Fee required to submit an application to the HRC
after the property is designated.
Provide information regarding possible grants for rehab - HRC may apply for grants and research
funds for rehab or aid property owners with needed repairs.
The HRC may assist the property owner with the report that is required to receive the federal tax
incentive and be placed on the National Historic Registry of Historic Places.
Property Tax Incentive based on N.C.G.S. 105-278.
The designation must be specific only to the area of historic significance and any area deemed historic
must be proven so with objective evidence to support the determination. The order will clearly describe the
Procedure for Designating Historic Landmarks
Application by Property Owner. Property Owners shall complete an application and return to the
Planning Department who will disseminate it to the HRC. An application must be filed at least 30 days
prior to the HRCs regularly scheduled meeting.
Recommendation by HRC.
shall make, or cause to be made,
an investigation and report on the
historic, architectural, pre-historical, educational, or cultural significance of each building, structure, site,
area or object proposed for designation. They shall evaluate the information presented and give a
recommendation that will be presented to the Zoning Board of Adjustment as part of the record for the
Review by State Department of Cultural Resources Historic Preservation Office. The HRCs report will
be sent to the State Department of Cultural Resources Historic Preservation Office
who will have 45 days
following receipt of the report to review and provide written comments upon the substance and effect of
the designation. These written comments shall be included in the evidence before the Zoning Board of
Quasi-judicial proceeding before Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA). The ZBA shall review all relevant
information and hear testimony from interested parties in a quasi-judicial proceeding.
Newspaper Notice. Notice of the hearing (if required) shall be published in a newspaper
of general circulation in the County at least once. The notice shall be published at least
ten (10) but not more than twenty-five (25) days prior to the date fixed for the hearing.
Mailed Notice. Written notice of the hearing (if required) shall be mailed to all owners
and occupants of properties at least ten (10) but not more than twenty-five (25) days prior
the date fixed for the hearing.
The order shall describe each property designated, the name or names of the
owner or owners of the property, those elements of the property that are integral to its
historical, architectural or prehistorical value and a waiting period prior to any structural
demolition on the site. An entire parcel, including land and any structures will not be
designated unless an explicit explanation of the whole parcels historic significance is
provided at the time of designation. Each order must specify what the historic
components of the designated property are and only those will be subject to this
Ordinance and receive any benefit under N.C.G.S. 105-278.
Approval by Board of Commissioners of Historic Landmark Designation Order.
Approval. The Board of Commissioners shall review the order prepared by the Zoning Board of
Adjustment, any relevant evidence, the report by the HRC
and the comments from the
Department of Cultural Resources Historic Preservation Office
in making its decision.
The Board of Commissioners
may hold a public hearing regarding the application.
Recording and Notice of Historic Designation.
Written notice of designation shall be provided to owners and occupants of each approved
Copies of the designation shall be recorded with the County Register of Deeds.
Notice of the designation shall be provided to the Clerk
and to the Board of Commissioners.
A suitable sign for each property may be placed on the property with the owner's consent and
must adhere to the Land Development Code sign requirements.
§49-7. Certificate of Appropriateness
Once a property is designated, it must receive a certificate of appropriateness for certain exterior
modifications, alterations, or additions to the historic landmark.
Such a certificate is required to be issued by the ZBA, after review by the HRC,
prior to the issuance of a
building permit or other permit granted for the purposes of constructing, altering, moving or demolishing
structures, which certificate may be issued subject to reasonable conditions necessary to carry out the
purposes of this article. A Certificate of Appropriateness shall be required whether or not a building or
other permit is required.
Minor works, as defined below, may be administratively approved and these decisions may be appealed
to Superior Court.
Applications for a certificate of appropriateness shall be obtained from and, when completed, filed with
the Planning Department and filed at least 30 days prior to a regularly scheduled meeting of the ZBA.
Each application shall be accompanied by sketches, drawings, photographs, specifications, descriptions
and other information of sufficient detail to clearly show the proposed exterior alterations, additions,
changes or new construction. The names and mailing addresses of property owners filing and/or subject
to the application must also be filed. No application which does not include the aforementioned
information will be accepted.
Standard for appropriate change
The County shall take no action under this article except to prevent the construction, reconstruction, alteration,
restoration, moving or demolition of buildings, structures, appurtenant features, outdoor advertising signs or other
significant features which would be incongruous with the special character of the historic landmark. Changes must
comply with the Henderson County historic properties design guidelines.
Certain changes not prohibited
Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance or repair of any exterior architectural
feature on a landmark which does not involve a change in design, materials, or outward appearance thereof; the
ordinary maintenance or repair of streets, sidewalks, pavement markings, street signs, or traffic signs; [or] the
construction, reconstruction, alteration, restoration or demolition of any such feature which the building inspector
shall certify is required by the public safety because of an unsafe or dangerous condition. Nothing herein shall be
construed to prevent the maintenance or, in the event of an emergency, the immediate restoration, of any existing
above-ground utility or structure without approval by the ZBA.
Routine Maintenance, Minor Improvements
& Major Modifications
Routine Maintenance: The following activities are routine maintenance and do not require a certificate of
Interior work or painting.
Replacement of window glass and sash, as long as window size, style, and material are not
Caulking and weather-stripping.
Real estate and political signs.
Repairs to walks, patios, fences, and driveways as long as replacement materials match the
Replacement of small amounts (50%
or less) of missing or deteriorated siding, trim, roof
shingles, porch flooring, steps, gutters and downspouts, etc., as long as the replacement
materials match the existing materials.
Minor Improvements: Minor improvements to structures require a certificate of appropriateness. Minor
modifications, listed below,
may be administratively approved by the Planning Department.
Installation of storm windows and doors.
Side- and rear-yard fences and walls not facing a public street.
Installation of exterior mechanical equipment such as roof fans, heat pumps, and air
Repairs to walls, patios, fences, and driveways as long as replacement matches what presently
Repairs to vents and access doors of foundation.
Replacement of exterior stairs, landings, and steps.
Replacement of large amounts (more than 50%) of missing or deteriorated siding, trim, porch
floors, windows, and gutters or architectural details where there is no change in materials and
design of original.
Re-pointing and other masonry repairs.
Exterior lighting fixtures.
(10) Removal of asbestos or other artificial siding.
(11) New roof coverings using shingles appropriate to the original.
(12) Installation of satellite dishes.
(13) Exterior paint removal.
Major Modifications: Major modifications listed below require certificate of appropriateness
approved by the ZBA after review and recommendation by the HRC.
Exterior changes including types or styles of windows, doors, porches, decks, roofs, and
Alterations in exterior architectural details.
The installation on any structure, of vinyl or aluminum siding or of any siding different than
the existing siding.
The disturbance of designated archaeological sites.
The construction of any addition to an existing structure, such as the addition of rooms,
chimneys, porches, decks, ramps, solar panels, and skylights, or any new construction.
The construction or placement of any outbuilding on the property, including carports, garages,
utility sheds barns, silos, drying sheds, and bulk barns.
Relocation of a primary structure.
The placement or construction of any yard fixtures such as lamp posts or other lighting
fixtures, walkways, fences or walls, driveways, parking areas or the placement of any
physical structure which could be considered ornamental.
The demolition or removal of any structure, including outbuildings and yard fixtures.
The installation of any permanent exterior sign measuring larger than three (3) square feet in
Foundation repairs other than vents and access doors.
Compliance with the terms of the Certificate of Appropriateness shall be enforced by the Planning
Department. Failure to comply with the Certificate
of Appropriateness shall be a violation of the zoning
In case any building, structure, site, area or object designated as a landmark is about to be demolished,
whether as a result of deliberate neglect or otherwise, materially altered, remodeled, removed or
destroyed, except in compliance with this article, the County Board of Commissioners, the municipal
governing body, the HRC, or other party aggrieved by such action may institute any appropriate action or
proceeding to prevent such unlawful demolition, destruction, material alteration, remodeling or removal,
to restrain, correct or abate such violation, or to prevent any illegal act or conduct with respect to such a
building or structure.
Appeals must be filed
30 days from the date of the decision. Decisions of the Zoning Board of Adjustment and the
Board of Commissioners may be appealed to Superior Court.
The ZBA must issue a Certificate of Appropriateness for the move before any other necessary permits can be
obtained. The HRC may provide a recommendation to the Zoning Board of Adjustment
Proper documentation shall be made prior to relocation of a historic building, including documenting its
original setting and context, photographs, site plans, other graphic materials, and/or written statements to
record the existing site conditions as necessary.
Contractors experienced in moving historic structures shall be enlisted to do the following:
Determine the structural condition of the property.
Coordinate with the utility companies and county and municipal departments.
Protect the structure from vandalism or weather damage during the move.
Minimize structural damage during the move.
Relocation of a structure shall not diminish or damage existing historic landmark buildings.
and ZBA shall be provided with a site plan for the proposed site features of the new setting,
including information on accessory buildings, driveways, site lighting, and parking areas.
In considering a request for a certificate of appropriateness to demolish a structure within a historic landmark, the
ZBA shall weigh the impact of the proposed demolition on the character of the historic landmark, as well as
All alternatives to demolition shall be evaluated.
Significant structure features shall be documented, including photographs and measured drawings
completed to the standards established within the Historic American Buildings Survey.
Prior to demolition, the property owner shall work to salvage usable architectural materials and features.
There may be a delay in demolition of historic landmarks and buildings. The period of delay shall be
reduced by the ZBA if it finds that the owner would suffer extreme hardship or be permanently deprived
of all beneficial use or return from such property. The waiting period for demolition must be established
in the original designation order and cannot exceed 365
Through 49-50. (Reserved)