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Historic Districts

The Petersburg Historic Zoning Ordinance was adopted in 1973 as Article 35 of the City's Zoning Ordinance. The purpose of the ordinance is to preserve, protect, and enhance the City's cultural resources. The Architectural Review Board (ARB), whose seven members must have a demonstrated interest & knowledge in historic preservation, administers the Historic Zoning Ordinance. Board members serve as volunteers & are appointed by the City Council. The ARB must approve the "erection, construction, alteration or restoration of the exterior of any building or structures," including signs within a locally designated historic area, as well as any demolition of a structure.

A Historic Area is defined as an area with one or several structures or places which are deemed historically, architecturally or culturally significant to the heritage of the community, and therefore warrant conservation & preservation. (please see Map of Petersburg Historic Districts)

For any property located within the boundaries of a historic area, the ARB must approve plans to erect, construct, restore or alter the exterior of any structure, including the change of paint colors, or the removal of any architectural feature, or for the demolition of any structure. The ARB's approval is based upon the appropriateness of the proposed work, taking into consideration the following general factors:

  1. general design;
  2. character & appropriateness of design;
  3. form;
  4. proportion & scale;
  5. mass;
  6. configuration;
  7. arrangement;
  8. texture;
  9. material;
  10. color;
  11. relationship of such elements to similar features of structures in the immediate surroundings;
  12. prevention of developments which are inharmonious with prevailing characteristics, or are obviously incongruous with the character of the historic area.

The ARB uses the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation & Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings, as well as there own Design Review Guidelines. These guidelines were drafted as a planning tool to help property owners develop plans for the maintenance, preservation & rehabilitation of their properties in a manner which is appropriate to the character of the historic district. It is not the intent of these guidelines to dictate particular architectural features or styles, but to point out a range of solutions & design possibilities.

These guidelines are in addition to all prevailing laws & are in no way to be construed to diminish the force of existing requirements & standards, building codes or zoning ordinances. It is the property owner's responsibility to contact all the appropriate City agencies & to comply with all existing laws & codes.