The Town has an appointed Historic and Architectural Review Board (HARB) in accordance with the State Act which enables the designation of Historic Districts in Pennsylvania. The Town has an official Historic District which is “overlayed” on the Zoning District map. The HARB reviews all exterior building changes, additions, new construction, demolition, and signs, within the designated Historic District. The Board does not regulate the repainting or color of buildings as long as no other construction is planned.
Download a map of the Historic District here
HARB History and Purpose
In 1961 The Historic District Act authorized the establishment of local Historic Districts and Historic Architectural Review Boards. The Historic District within the Town and the Town Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) were established in 1980 reflecting the commitment of the citizens of the Town of Bloomsburg to preserving and protecting the cultural heritage of the community.
The Town of Bloomsburg Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) consists of seven (7) members appointed by Town Council to serve four-year overlapping terms. HARB provides counsel and recommendations to property owners and business owners seeking Certificates of Appropriateness, as well as making recommendations to Town Council on the advisability of issuing Certificates of Appropriateness, for all exterior building changes, additions, new construction, demolition, and signs, within the designated Historic District.
In considering whether or not to issue a Certificate of Appropriateness, HARB and Council consider the general design, arrangement, texture, material, and color of the building or structures and the relation of such factors to similar features of buildings and structures in the Historic District. The issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness demonstrates that the property owner, HARB and Council have agreed that a proposed change to the exterior of a building will be consistent with, and preserve the general historic and architectural features of the Historic District.
The jurisdiction of HARB and Council is limited to exterior architectural features of buildings and structures (including fences, signs, retaining walls, etc.). Modifications to the interior of a structure are exempt from HARB requirements, although construction permits may be required before such work can proceed. HARB does not regulate painting.
Procedure For Obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness
Determine if your property is located in the Town of Bloomsburg Historic District. You may examine a map at Town Hall or click here to see one. You can also call the Code Enforcement Department at (570) 784-7123.
Bring the completed application package and copies to the Town of Bloomsburg Code Enforcement Office at 301 E. Second Street Bloomsburg, PA. Staff will not accept incomplete applications.
Your application will be reviewed by HARB. Note – You must be present at the HARB meeting for your application to be reviewed.
Do not begin work or order a sign until your application has been approved; you have applied for other necessary permits and have an issued permit in your hand.
For more information check out the link.
The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties
Illustrated Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings
The information provided in this guide is intended only to assist individuals in understanding the code requirements. It is not a complete recitation of the code. Property owners should consult the Town of Bloomsburg Code of Ordinances for answers to specific questions.