Historic or Design Review Board

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Boards and Committees Directory (140kb pdf) 

The Historic or Design Review Board, (HDRB), was established in 1999 to protect and preserve historic, architectural, archaeological, or culturally significant sites in the town. In addition to reviewing all proposed projects within the Blacksburg Historic District, HDRB also enforces architectural proffers in the Planned Residential District, reviews proposed projects in the Industrial Zoning District, and reviews proposed duplexes in the Transitional Residential Zoning District (R-5). Additionally, HDRB provides recommendations to requests made by Town Council or the Planning Commission.

Also in 1999, the Town of Blacksburg established one designated historic district, the Blacksburg Historic District (2.52mb pdf), located near downtown. Some structures within the Blacksburg Historic District are classified as contributing structures (1.15mb pdf), meaning they have been surveyed and determined to have specific contributions to the historic character of the district.

The Blacksburg Historic District provides a means of protection against deconstruction of, or encroachment upon, historic areas, buildings, or structures of recognized historical significance which contribute to the cultural, social, economic, political, artistic or architectural heritage of the town. Proposed changes to any structure or site, (including new construction, reconstruction, alteration, restoration or demolition), within the Blacksburg Historic District requires review by HDRB. Depending on the extent and nature of a proposed project, some reviews may be admininstrative reviews while other reviews require review by the entire HDRB.

HDRB's recommendations on some projects within the Blacksburg Historic District, the Transitional Residential Zoning District, (R-5), and the Industrial Zoning District are advisory in nature. HDRB may provide recommendations that encourage preservation or construction practices that enhance the historic nature of the building or compatibility with the neighborhood. However, HDRB's recommendation on the demolition of a contributing structure and the redevelopment plan for a site where a contributing structure has been demolished is binding. HDRB utilitizes the Design Guidelines for reference when reviewing all projects.

Town council updated regulations governing HDRB in 2011, with the approval of Ordinance#1604 (924kb pdf). All regulations governing HDRB can be found in the Historic or Design Review Overlay District of the town's Zoning Ordinance, beginning with Section 3270. A brief summary of HDRB guidelines is also provided in the Frequently Asked Questions.

For the complete Historic or Design Review Overlay District regulations, please see the Blacksburg Zoning Ordinance at Appendix A: Ordinance #1137; Article III-Division 27: Historic or Design Review Overlay District.

HDRB meetings are the second and fourth Monday of the month, (as needed), at 4:30 p.m. in the Blacksburg Motor Company building at 400 S. Main St. For more information, contact the Planning and Building Department at 540-443-1300.

The application (1.12mb pdf) deadline for a proposal to be placed on the next HDRB meeting agenda is the previous HDRB meeting date.

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