Historic District Commission

Meetings Agendas & Minutes
Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval. 
  View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes
  
Members
The Commission consists of 7 members appointed by the Town Council to guide construction activity on the district. All are town residents with either a personal interest or professional experience in historic preservation and related fields.

Function
The Bristol Historic District Commission (HDC):
  • Regulates development in designated Local Historic District (and on individually-designated properties) to protect the unique physical character, historic fabric, and visual identity of the town of Bristol
  • Reviews proposals for any exterior alteration, new construction, landscaping, repair, removal, or demolition of buildings, structures, or their appurtenances located within the historic district
  • Contains residential, commercial, religious, educational, industrial, governmental, transportation, and civic buildings, in addition to other structures and open spaces
Construction dates range from the 18th century to the present day, and architectural styles range from Colonial to Modern.

Definition
A historic district is a special overlay zoning area that preserves and safeguards special areas of historical and architectural value.

There are 619 properties under the jurisdiction of the Bristol HDC, most within the Bristol Historic District (PDF). Of the 619 properties, 35 structures have been individually designated for HDC review because of their exceptional historical and/or architectural significance.

Brief History
The HDC was created in 1987 to protect the town’s developmental patterns and architectural character. Its buildings, structures, sites, settings, and landscapes reflect elements of Bristol’s distinctive history. Chapter 14 of the Bristol Town Code establishes the authority of the HDC to approve or deny proposed exterior work to any property located within the local historic district.

Project Approval
Before starting any exterior work within the historic district, the property owner must file an application and receive the approval of the HDC. If the HDC approves the project, they issue a Certificate of Appropriateness. You must have a Certificate of Appropriateness in order to apply for a building permit for exterior work in the historic district. A certificate is required whether or not a building permit is also required.