Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my home is in a historic district?
The City's Website has a GIS map with a historic districts command; the historic district map is posted as well. Or, you may email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the property's address, and we will check for you.
Do repairs go before the HPC?
Ordinary maintenance & repairs made with the exact same materials do not go before the commission. See Staunton City Zoning Code 18.85.060 for clarification, either call our office (540) 885-7676 or email email@example.com.
Does the HPC review painting / paint colors?
The HPC does not normally review paint with two exceptions:
1) There is a clause in the code concerning "violent contrasts of materials or colors and intense and lurid colors or patterns, or a multiplicity of incongruous details clearly inconsistent with the character of the present structures or with the prevailing character of the surroundings and the historic district." which would go before the commission on a complaint basis.
2) The original painting of masonry surfaces is not exempted from review. If your home is unpainted brick, you must go before the commission before you paint it. This practice is not often encouraged. Many 19th century masonry homes were coated with a lime wash or linseed oil and iron oxide stain to give brick a uniform appearance and the mortar joints were then line stenciled. Most of those coatings have long ago deteriorated exposing the original brick. These historic materials were physically very different than coatings used today. The application of modern paints latex or oil to brick causes many problems with the preservation of the brick and encourages long term maintenance problems. see Secretary of Interior Rehabilitation Guidelines http://www.nps.gov/history/hps/tps/standguide/rehab/rehab_masonry.htm
Can I get tax credits for my rehabilitation?
There are Federal tax credits and State tax credits available for rehabilitation. The process is involved. Homeowners usually hire consultants to help with the applications. Documentation usually needs to be made before any work is done on the property. Federal Tax credits are for commercials properties (for at least five years). See Virginia's Department of Historic Resources (DHR) for more information.
My rehab is an obvious improvement to my neighborhood, why do I have to go before the HPC?
Consistency and precedence. Everyone goes through the same process.