Historic District Commission
- NEW Fourth Thursday of the month (unless otherwise noted)
- 7:00 p.m.
- Room 110
- City Hall
105 Jay Street
Schenectady, NY 12305
- Meeting day and location is subject to change. Check posted agendas for most current information.
NEW meeting schedule
The regular scheduled meeting for the Historic District Commission for September has been postponed for October 24, 2019.
Application and Fees
Agendas & Minutes
Agendas are posted approximately 1 week before each meeting. Minutes are posted once they are approved at the next meeting, usually about 5 weeks. If you would like to review minutes before they are approved, please contact City staff to request a copy of the draft minutes, (518) 382-5147.
View Agendas and Minutes. You can sign up for a notification when new agendas or minutes are posted by clicking the Notify Me link on the side bar.
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.
Historic District Commission FAQ
View the section of the City's zoning code that pertains to Historic Districts and Locally Designated Landmarks.
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.
Pat Yager, Chair
Ben Wiles, Vice Chair
Resources for Project Planning and Application Review
- Historic Districts in the City Zoning Code
- Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings. The Historic District Commission uses these Standards to evaluate projects under review.
- Preservation Briefs from Technical Preservation Services at the National Park Service. Learn about methods and materials used for rehabilitating historic properties from the National Park Service.
- Technical preservation guidance from the New York State Historic Preservation Office (NYSHPO). Learn about New York State-specific recommendations for historic rehabilitation.
- Stockade Flood Mitigation Design Guidelines 2017
- State and Federal Historic Tax Credits
- State and Federal Financial Assistance for Preservation Work
- City of Schenectady Property Tax Exemption for Alteration of Historic Property, and accompanying form
- NYS Real Property Tax Law Section 444-a
- Information about the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Got a historic property that's not yet listed? Find out about the State and National Registers.