The Historic District Commission (HDC) works to protect locally designated historic districts and landmarks and acts as a resource for owners of historic properties. Owners of properties that come under the purview of the Commission need approval to make changes to the exterior of their properties, in order to ensure that modifications are made in an historically sensitive manner.
The Commission is comprised of city residents, appointed by the Mayor, that have demonstrated significant commitment to, and knowledge of, the field of historic preservation. Only the HDC has the authority to review applications and grant a Certificate of Approval for proposed changes. While there are other great local resources for historic research and guidance, such as the Schenectady County Historical Society and the Schenectady Heritage Foundation, only Certificates of Approval issued by the HDC are recognized as official approvals by the City of Schenectady.
Application and Fees
The HDC has delegated certain types of reviews, within specific parameters, to its staff. Staff-reviewed applications require fewer steps and can generally be completed within a short time frame. If staff determines that a project constitutes routine or minor repair, maintenance, or replacement in kind, or cannot be seen from a public right of way, staff can issue an approval and any required building permits may proceed with minimal processing.
If Commission staff determines that Commission review is required for your project, a complete application and fee must be submitted by the application deadline (a link to the deadlines and meeting schedule is below). Commission staff will review application materials and may request additional information before the application is placed on the Commission agenda.
Before undertaking any work that may alter the exterior of a historic property, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Commission staff to determine the appropriate level of review. Work undertaken without required approvals may result in fines and/or the mandatory reversal of the changes.
Historic Commission Members & Staff
Members: The Commission shall consist of Seven (7) members who reside in the City of Schenectady. Members shall be appointed by the Mayor of the City of Schenectady for terms of office of Three (3) Years. Members of the Commission may be reappointed for succeeding terms.
Staff: The Department of Development's Assistant Planner, Austin Erickson, currently staffs the Historic Commission meetings. firstname.lastname@example.org (518) 382-5147
- Patricia Yager, Commission Chair
- Dean Bennett
- Shaun Andriano
- Richard Unger
- Zakhar Berkovich
- Michael Barron