The Division of Planning and Permitting

Historic Preservation

  1. Design Review
  2. Forms/ Documents
  3. Designate Property  Historic
  4. Historic Resources
  5. Rural and Scenic Roads
  6. Grant Availability
  7. Recovering Identity Project

Design Review

Getting Started

Step 1: 

Determine your property’s designation status. Use the County Register of Historic Places list (PDF) to check if your property is a designated landmark or in a historic district. If it is, your project may be subject to design review. 

Step 2: 

Determine whether your project requires design review. The type of construction work you are doing determines whether you must undergo design review before you begin. The following projects are subject to design review:

  • New Construction
  • Additions
  • Roofing
  • Window or Door Replacement
  • Major Alterations to character-defining features
  • Garages
  • Fences, Retaining Walls and other Site Work
  • Solar Panels
  • Demolition 

List of projects that do not require design review are considered routine maintenance. Review the Routine Maintenance List (PDF) for specific information. 

Some select building and site work projects can be administratively reviewed. Review a list of Administrative Approvals (PDF).

If you are unsure as to whether your project must undergo design review, please email Historic Preservation staff. 

Historic Preservation staff are also available for a pre-application review.

Step 3: 

Determine which application track to submit: An Administrative Application (PDF) or a Historic Preservation Commission Application (PDF).

Step 4:

Review the design guidelines (PDF) that apply to your project.

Step 5: 

Submit your application. 

  1. The application form with a map showing the location of the subject property; 
  2. Site plan, must be dimensioned and scaled and include north arrow, scale (must be drawn to measureable scale), location of streets, sidewalks, property lines, all existing structures, location of proposed addition or new construction, and location of existing or proposed fences, retaining walls, and hardscaping.
  3. Landscape plan (if applicable), including a tabulation of the plant and tree species and size at time of planting. Minimum scale should be 1" = 30'.
  4. Elevation drawings, of each existing and proposed façade and includes the façade direction, scale (plans must be drawn to a measurable scale), major dimensions, proposed architectural materials, all proposed work, height of any adjacent structures, and location of all new vents, louvers, electrical boxes, lighting, etc.
  5. Photographs of the subject property, including existing conditions of the existing building and location of any proposed additions or new construction. Photographs must be in color, labeled with direction,
  6. Manufacturer cut sheets on all products, including wall cladding, roofing, windows, doors, and lighting. For windows and doors, provide visible transparency ratings of the glass. 
  7. Samples of materials to be used are encouraged to be brought in during the presentation. 

Next Steps – Staff Review, Revision and HPC Presentation (if applicable)

Administrative Review

For eligible projects, as outlined in Step 2 above.

  1. Staff will evaluate the completeness of your application and perform a preliminary design guideline evaluation within a few days. If necessary, staff will provide comments or request revisions. 
  2. If an application is found to be complete and meets the design guidelines, preservation staff will issue an approval within five business days. Projects that are approved will be issued a Certificate of Appropriateness. If a project cannot be approved administratively, Preservation staff will provide comments as to how it may be revised to meet the design guidelines or will let you know if it must be reviewed by the HPC.

HPC Review 

The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) reviews projects on individual properties and properties in historic districts. The HPC meets the first Wednesday of every month except in January and July.

  1. Projects with complete applications will be added to the agendas on a first come first served basis, and once the agenda is full, projects will be scheduled for the next available meeting.
  2. Upon receipt of an application, Preservation staff will evaluate the completeness of your application and perform a preliminary design guideline evaluation. If necessary, staff will return the submittal with comments for revisions.
  3. Once the submittal is deemed complete, Preservation staff will add the project to an HPC meeting agenda and prepare a staff report, which will include a recommendation to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the project.
  4. The applicant must provide one digital submission of the updated submittal to Preservation staff at least 7 business days prior to the scheduled HPC meeting. If the digital copy is not received in 7 business days prior to the meeting the project will be removed from the HPC agenda.
  5. HPC review will result in approval, approval with conditions, continuance, or denial.


Frederick County is committed to identifying and preserving the rich historic and cultural resources of the unincorporated areas of the county. Frederick County's landmarks and historic districts enhance the County's unique identity and quality of life.

Please visit the Historic Preservation Commission page for more information.


Contact Us

  1. Historic Preservation
    30 N. Market St.
    Frederick, MD 21701

    Amanda Whitmore

    Ph: 301-600-1147
    Fx: 301-600-1645

    Beau Lockard
    Ph: 301-600-1149

    Monday - Friday
    8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

    Staff Directory