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Historic District Commission


Meeting Schedule: 2023 Meeting Dates

For Newcomers to the Historic District

For Homes Requiring Updates or Renovations


Historic District Walking Tour

Historic District Booklet/Report 

Historic District Map

Agendas and Minutes:


Listing files in 'Historic District Commission'



Link to Previous Applications


APCOA Application Process


Current Board Members:

In District:
Mary Elizabeth Taylor, U, 12-31-2025, Chairman
Colleen Darnell, R, 12-31-2025
Ryan Chabot, R, 12-31-2026

Out of District:
Diana McCain, D, Vice Chairman, 12-31-2023
Joyce Bray, D, 12-31-2024

Amy Royal, R, 12-31-2023, out of district
Josh Eddinger, D, 12-31-2024, in district
Campbell Barrett, D, 12-31-2025, in district

Constitution of Board/Quorum:

All appointments shall be made by the board of selectmen and shall be for a term of five (5) years each except that an appointment to fill an unexpired term shall be for the duration of such unexpired term only. At all times at least three (3) members and two (2) alternate members of the commission shall be residents within the Durham Historic District. Members and alternate members shall be electors of the town holding no salaried town office. 5 members, and 3 alternates   Members and alternate members must be electors of the Town of Durham.  The members elect a chairman, vice-chairman and clerk. The presence of four members constitutes a quorum.

Term of Office:

5 years, except that an appointment to fill an unexpired term will end when that term expires. Alternates are elected to 3-year terms 

Appointing Authority:

Members are appointed by the Board of Selectmen.


On June 25, 1973, voters of the town of Durham adopted the Durham Town Ordinance creating a Historic District and Historic District Commission.  The Board's authority is also derived from Section 7 – 147a  - 7-1471 inclusive of the General Statutes of the State of Connecticut and Public Act 430, and Section 6-20 of the Town Charter.

Powers and

To promote the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the Town of Durham and others through the preservation and protection of buildings and places of historic interest and through the development of appropriate settings for such buildings and places in accordance with Section 7-147a – 7-1471 inclusive of the General Statutes of the State of Connecticut, Public Act 430 and the Town Ordinance.

The Commission's powers basically are as follows: no building, structure i.e. detached auxiliary building, sign, fence, wall, above-ground utility structure, swimming pool, or external lighting for same, or parking area shall be erected, altered, restored, removed or demolished with the District until after an Application for Certificate of Appropriateness (APCOA) has been submitted to the Commission and approved. Such approval will be made known by the issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) by the Commission. Each APCOA shall have a Public Hearing prior to deliberation by the Commission. The Commission cannot consider interior arrangement, usage, or the color of exterior paint.  

In its deliberations the Commission will consider the exterior architectural features open to view from the public street, way or place. In passing on the appropriateness of external changes to a building or structure, the Commission will consider, in addition to any other pertinent factors, the historical and architectural value and significance, architectural style, general design, arrangement, texture and material of the architectural features involved (such as siding and roofing materials), and the relationship to other buildings or structures in the immediate neighborhood. The style, material and location of signs within the District must be approved by the Commission.


Printed Regulations:

Town Proceedings November 1969 to July 1973, General Statues of the State of Connecticut (1963 supplement) as amended.


On February 2, 1970 at a special town meeting, electors of the Town of Durham voted on the question "Are you in favor of adoption of an historic district ordinance as proposed and recommended in the final report submitted by the Durham Historic District Study Committee on January 26, 1970?" The electors failed to adopt the ordinance in 1970, and the new report came before them again in 1973. On May 14, 1973, at a Special Town Meeting, electors accepted the report of the Historic District Study Committee and enacted an ordinance to carry out the provisions of the State Legislature's enabling Acts in such matters. On June 25, 1973 the electors passed the Historic District Ordinance Referendum, which created a Historic District and a Historic District Commission for the Town of Durham effective July 17, 1973.