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Historic District Reference Guide

 
 
This is important information if you intend to:
  • Build any new structure. Put an addition on your home.
  • Make any exterior alteration to your home or property.
  • Repair or replace any exterior elements of your home.
  • Add to or alter any other man-made structure.
  • Sell you home or property.

The Fieldstone Historic Preservation Committee would exist to advise and assist residents of the Fieldstone Historic District as well as to advise and assist the Baltimore County Landmarks Preservation Commission regarding all matters which are within the jurisdiction and scope of the Commission insofar as it affects those properties which lie within our District. This would include, but not be limited to, construction, improvements, demolition, neglect, building permits, and the like. The Committee will act as an educational group to assist Fieldstone Community residents and to serve as liaison between the residents of the Fieldstone Historic District and the Commission. It is important to point out that this Committee is advisory in nature and will have no binding authority on any of the residents in the historic district. The Commission is the only body that has binding authority as stipulated in the Code.

As the above implies, the committee will be established primarily to educate and assist the residents of the Fieldstone Historic District to adapt and conform to the new requirements of the Baltimore County Landmarks regulations, and to act on behalf of the community in matters before the Commission. The Fieldstone Historic Preservation Committee will automatically be contacted when application for approval is made to the Commission either directly or as part of the Building Permit process.

The Committee will meet on a regular basis. These meetings shall be open to the public, and residents are encouraged to attend. Business conducted at these meetings may include consideration of new permit applications to the Commission, presentations of planned work by residents for preliminary review, other general issues related to the Historic District and regular business matters of the committee.

HISTORIC DISTRICT APPROVAL PROCEDURES:

The responsibilities of residents and property owners within a Historic District under Baltimore County Historic Preservation regulations are as follows:

"before any person or other legal entity commences in a historic district any excavation or the construction or erection of any building, fence, wall or other new structure of any kind or commences any demolition, reconstruction, alteration, or removal of an exterior architectural feature of any existing structure or before any persona or other legal entity commences any reconstruction, alteration, or removal of an exterior architectural feature or commences any demolition of any structure" located within the Historic District, "such person or other legal entity shall submit an application for a permit to the building engineer and no work contemplated herein shall commence before the issuing of such permit." (Code 1978, § 22-152)

"Structures means any man-made or natural combinations of materials to form stable constructions, including but not limited to buildings, bridges, towers, walls, trees, and rock formations. (Code 1978, § 22-141)

This has been interpreted to mean that before any demolition (of either all or part of a building or other man made structure or site feature), new construction, building additions, new site amenities (such as fences, walls, sheds, lighting etc.), and rehabilitation work to be performed on the exterior of any existing structure (including outbuildings), except for simple repairs, replacement in-kind, and routine maintenance, shall only be performed after application to and approval from the Commission.

If you have any doubt as to whether an approval is needed for any planned exterior work, contact either the Committee or the Commission directly. Work performed without the required approval is against the law and owners found in violation are subject to fines and may be required to go through the process of performing costly reversal of unapproved work.

Application for approval to the Commission can be made in several ways. First, if a building permit is normally required for the work being performed, review by the Commission will be automatically required as part of the permit application process. Secondly, for smaller projects, direct review for approval can be obtained from the Commission by contacting their office at the number listed on the first page of this packet, and providing any necessary information or documentation they request. Also, preliminary plans for any anticipated project can be submitted and reviewed by the Commission so that any comments or changes can be made before final plans are completed, saving time and cost.

Property owners considering any demolition, rehabilitation, alteration or new construction should seek the early assistance of the Fieldstone Historic Preservation Committee. The Committee will help you to ensure that the plans will be compatible with the character of the Historic District and will help you with the process of dealing with the Commission.

HISTORIC TAX CREDITS:

Homeowners within the Fieldstone Historic District who have contributing properties may be entitled to State tax credits on certified and approved residential restoration and rehabilitation work. This applies to both exterior and interior work performed on owner occupied residences, and is subject to pre-approval and final review from the Maryland Historical Trust. Federal tax credits may also available for commercial rehabilitation orrestoration of certified historic properties. If you are interested in learning more about this program, contact the Maryland Historical Trust (410-514-7600).

Baltimore County enacted legislation in November of 1997 permitting a ten (10) year freeze on property taxes for the value of any certified historic rehabilitation to individual Landmarks and structures within a Baltimore County Historic District. Contact the Commission for further information and requirements for this program.

IF YOU ARE SELLING YOUR PROPERTY:

Historic District property owners should be aware that Baltimore County regulations require the following:

"The seller of any real property which... is located within any historic district..., shall disclose in writing to the buyer prior to the execution of a contract of sale that such property is ... located within a (Baltimore County) historic district." (Code 1978, § 22-168)

If written evidence is not included, you may be subject to legal action and/or monetary damages from the buyer. We also suggest that a copy of this guide, along with any other related materials, be given to the new owner(s) so that they will be aware of their responsibilities and the benefits provided by being in the historic district.

SUMMARY:

This guide is intended to make residents and property owners within the Historic District aware of their responsibilities under the Baltimore County regulations, and how the Fieldstone Historic Preservation Committee can provide assistance. If you have any questions related to anything in this guide you should feel free to contact any of the following:

The Fieldstone Historic Preservation Committee:

(Committee members to be announced)

The Baltimore County Landmarks Preservation Commission:

Kimberly Abe Administrator 410-887-3495
John McGrain County Historian 410-887-3495


We would like to thank you for your cooperation, and hope that together we will be able to make a significant difference in making the Fieldstone Community one of the best places to live in Baltimore County.




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