Heritage State College Project (HARB)
The Borough of State College is continuing its community-focused education and planning process to consider how two of its most heritage-rich neighborhoods, the Holmes Foster/Highlands and College Heights Historic Districts, could be preserved for future generations. In December of 2017, Borough Council passed Ordinance 2104 that established a Local Historic District and a Historic and Architectural Review Board (HARB). This Ordinance will require a review to all contributing buildings in the historic districts that are undergoing additions to the main building, demolition of part or all of the main building, and new construction of a main building within the local historic district.
Phase 2 & 3:
- HARB Public Hearing
- State College Council/DHRB Joint Meeting
- Heritage State College Workshop # 1
- Heritage State College Workshop #2 Activity
- Staff Analysis of Public Comments
We want to hear from you!
Visit this webpage to learn more about historic preservation and complete the Reviewable Design Topics Worksheet.
* To be considered worksheets need to be submitted by October 12.
What is the Heritage State College Project?
The Heritage State College project seeks to engage community members, neighbors and other stakeholders in a process to learn about options for preserving the key, character-defining features of these great neighborhoods. This includes exploring ways to add protection for the districts while still providing flexibility to property owners. This effort will also seek direct community input on the potential for additional protections overall and what neighborhood features are most important to preserve. Based on the input received at a series of workshops and public meetings, the Borough Council will vote on whether or not to pursue a preservation ordinance later this fall. Enactment of this ordinance may require some level of design review and approval for certain types of projects prior to beginning the project. To determine the appropriate path forward to preserving these districts, your involvement is needed!
What is a HARB?
A preservation ordinance could possibly create a Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB), which is created to oversee regulated activities within historic districts. The HARB historic districts protect the quality of the architecture in the districts. These historic homes enhance the quality-of-life for residents and provide a rich experience for heritage tourists. A HARB district is created to safeguard architectural heritage by establishing a thoughtful review process for some changes to the exterior of buildings in order to prevent hasty or inappropriate alterations or demolition. New construction and additions are assessed according to how the proposed change will affect the appearance of a building or overall character of the street, and whether significant architectural features will be hidden, damaged or lost.
HARBs are made up of seven individuals appointed by Council to review all applications for new construction, demolition, and exterior alterations to buildings within the historic district.
- One registered architect
- One licensed real estate broker
- One Building Code Inspector
- The remaining four members are citizens who own property or live within the historic district
- New construction
How would I apply for a HARB review?
To discuss your proposed changes, call and make an appointment to meet with a staff member of the Planning Department. You will be advised by staff whether a HARB review is required and what documents you will need to provide.
If a review is required, you must complete a Certification of Appropriateness Application. For the application, you will have to describe your proposal in detail and submit current photographs of the neighboring properties, your property, as well as dimensional plans or drawings of the proposed changes to your property.