A historic district is a special type of zoning district. Historic guidelines are part of the city’s zoning ordinances. The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is a public commission of the City of New Bern that is responsible for developing and administering the historic guidelines. “A preservation commission’s primary responsibility is to prevent changes in a historic district that would be incongruous (not in keeping) with the special character of the district.” (Handbook for Historic Preservation Commissions in North Carolina).
The HPC has three major preservation tasks.
- Review and approve all exterior changes to contributing historic structures in addition to infill development in the locally designated historic districts.
- Review and approve demolition of contributing structures and subsequent site redevelopment.
- Monitor demolition by neglect of contributing historic structures in the locally designated historic districts and take actions to prevent demolition by neglect.
This document provides the policies and rules of procedure for defining how the Historic Preservation Commission functions. Procedures for processing a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) and rules of procedure for meetings need to be followed as closely as possible since many decisions are made through a quasi-judicial hearing. Appeals of HPC decisions are evaluated on whether rules of procedure were properly followed during a hearing. There will occasionally be exceptions in steps and actions that vary from these rules of procedure, but in general, these rules should be followed as consistently as possible.