HPC Streamlines Process for Historic Approval
Annapolis, MD (2-24-12) Annapolis Mayor Joshua J. Cohen announced that the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) streamlined the review and approval process for signs and minor building improvements in the Historic District.
Last night, the Commission approved guidelines that will limit the number of public hearings necessary during the review process, delegating to the Chief of Historic Preservation responsibility for approving a larger number of applications.
All signs will now be reviewed administratively. Minor alterations to non-historic buildings will be approved by staff, along with non-historic doors, windows and landscaping Anything that is a major addition, including new construction or a proposed major replacement, will still require commission approval.
Prior to the administrative guideline changes, each HPC public hearing could have upwards of four property signs on the docket for approval in the Historic District. Of those, more than half were approved on consent, meaning the applicant was fully in compliance with the signage guidelines.
To that end, the guideline changes are substantial and will reduce by one-third the number of HPC hearings for signage, as well as minor changes to buildings in the Historic District.
“These new guidelines will significantly streamline the development review process in the Historic District,” Mayor Cohen said. “This is one more way in which we are making City Hall more user-friendly for residents and businesses by reducing the time it takes applicants to get their permits in hand. I thank the members of the HPC as well as Planning and Zoning Director Jon Arason and Historic Preservation Chief Lisa Craig for taking this positive step.”