Historic Site Designation & Benefits

Historic Site Designation
Historic Site designation is a simple process that must be initiated by the property owner. Buildings must meet general criteria for consideration for historic designation at the local level. The structure must be at least 50 years of age and be of historic, archeological or architectural significance. Download the Historic Designation Application.

The steps in the designation process are:
  • Letter from property owner to Bel Air Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) requesting consideration of a building or site for historic designation.
  • HPC responds to application in writing, advising that a public hearing has been scheduled to review the property and inviting the owner to attend.
  • A zoning notice sign is posted on the property, giving public notice of the date and time of the hearing. An advertisement with the same information is placed in the local newspaper.
  • HPC conducts a public hearing to review the historic significance of the property, then makes a recommendation to the Board of Town Commissioners.
  • Board of Town Commissioners passes a resolution designating the property as a local historic site.
Benefits of Historic Site Designation
Bel Air offers a 10% property tax credit which may be spread over five years towards the cost of exterior renovations approved by the Historic Preservation Commission. A 5% property tax credit is available for compatible new construction.  Download the Application for Certificate of Approval.