The county currently has six Historic and Cultural Conservation (HCC) Districts and one Historic Roadway District (HRD). These districts are zoning "overlay" districts. This means that in addition to land use regulations that apply in a particular area, landowners must comply with architectural guidelines that protect the historic character of the HCC or HRD District. New construction in the district, including any alterations to or demolition of an existing structure, must be approved by the Loudoun County's Historic District Review Committee. In the Beaverdam Creek Historic Roadways District (BCHRD), only those projects located within 35 feet of the centerline of the roadways are reviewed by the HDRC.
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The goal of the architectural review process is to ensure that the historic, architectural, and/or rural characteristics that are unique to a designated area are protected, preserved, and enhanced for future generations. Property owners in Historic Districts may have some assurance that the historic homes or commercial structures surrounding them will not be significantly altered or demolished without careful consideration by the HDRC. Further, research regarding the economic benefits of historic preservation shows that properties located within a designated historic district maintain their value or increase in value because of the status and protection afforded them.
The Historic District Review Committee has review and approval authority over all exterior construction projects within the six Historic and Cultural Conservation Districts (Aldie, Bluemont, Oatlands, Taylorstown, Goose Creek & Waterford) and projects within 35 feet of the centerline in the Beaverdam Creek Historic Roadways District. Types of projects reviewed by the committee include but are not limited to: new home construction; new accessory structure construction (sheds, garages, pool houses, etc.); alterations to existing structures (changing roof pitch, adding window/doors/porches, removing material, changing materials, etc.); additions to existing structures; demolition of existing structures or portions of existing structures; and signage.
The Historic District Review Committee reviews Certificates of Appropriateness (CAPPs) for projects within the historic districts and evaluates each CAPP for compatibility with the individual property, the overall character of the district, and compatibility with the historic district guidelines. Some projects may be eligible for administrative approval by staff. More information about the CAPP process may be found here.
Yes. The Historic District Review Committee (HDRC) does not review repair or replacement of material “in kind” (for example, replacement of a standing seam metal roof with a new standing seam metal roof). The HDRC does not review interior projects unless those projects require an exterior alteration (for example – a bathroom remodel that requires adding a window), and it does not have review authority over paint color. If you would like to know if your project would require HDRC review, email the Department of Planning and Zoning or call 703-777-0246.
The Zoning Ordinance takes into consideration the need for the construction and maintenance of agricultural structures and livestock fencing. The Zoning Administrator has the power to waive the review of structures that are used solely for agricultural purposes. However, non-agricultural fencing (such as pool and yard enclosures and stone walls) requires review prior to construction but may qualify for Administrative Approval. More information is online here.
No. Historic district regulations do not affect the number of lots allowable on any parcel considered for subdivision. The Historic District Review Committee reviews the location of proposed structures and certain design features to ensure that new development is compatible with the historic landscape. As a zoning district overly, historic district designation runs with the land.
No. The Towns of Leesburg, Middleburg, and Purcellville each administer their own separate historic district regulations through their architectural review boards. Projects within the incorporated towns should refer to the historic district guidelines for the respective town.
Not necessarily. All of the county’s historic districts (with the exception of the Beaverdam Creek Historic Roadways District) are also listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and the Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR). However, the boundaries of these districts differ from the county’s district boundaries. There are some properties that are within the NRHP district that are not within the county’s districts, and vice versa. There are also districts listed in the NRHP/VLR that do not have corresponding County districts at all. To verify the location of your property in a county historic district, visit our online mapping system.
Yes! The creation of a new district, or an alteration to an existing district, is considered an amendment to the Zoning Map (commonly referred to as a rezoning). The criteria for historic district designation are outlined in Chapter 5; Overlay Districts of the Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance. Please contact the Department of Planning and Zoning for more information.