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Historic District

The Historic Preservation Overlay (commonly referred to as the “Historic District” or HPO) is comprised of approximately 650 properties bounded roughly by the Route 10 Bypass, Little Creek, Cypress Creek, and the Pagan River.  The Town maintains a Map & Property Inventory of the HPO.

The purpose of the HPO, as stated in Article 3.M of the Smithfield Zoning Ordinance is to “[recognize] Smithfield’s unique character and [promote] the conservation and preservation of the Town’s historic resources and properties.”  As with most districts of its type in Virginia, virtually all exterior additions/alterations (to include demolition, new construction, additions, signage, etc.) necessitate some form of review and decision/recommendation from the Town's Board of Historic & Architectural Review (BHAR).  A BHAR application is accessible HERE.

In 2006, the Town Council voted to adopt the Historic District Guidelines.  The guidelines serve as an "owners' manual" of sorts for property owners within the HPO who wish to conduct additions/alterations, etc. to their historic properties.

The HPO is not to be confused with the Smithfield, Virginia National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) Historic District, which is an honorary district that was listed on both the NRHP and the Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR) in 1973.  Unless tax credits at the state and/or federal level have been applied for and enjoyed by the property owner, no additional regulations impact these properties as a result of these listings.  However, it is important to note that most of the properties in the honorary district are also located within the HPO, in which the regulations already noted automatically apply.  The NRHP and VLR Nomination Form from 1973 includes a boundary map.

To discern what actions would necessitate BHAR review or decision, please contact the Community Development & Planning Department at 1-(757)-365-4200, or email Joseph Reish, Planning Technician & Code Enforcement Officer.