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Smithfield Board of Historic & Architectural Review

The Board of Historic & Architectural Review (BHAR) is composed of seven members, all of whom are appointed by the Town Council and sworn by the Isle of Wight County Circuit Court to serve staggered five year terms.  The BHAR is enabled through Smithfield Zoning Ordinance (SZO) Article 3.M, to perform (in summary) the following duties:

  • Review and decide on all BHAR Applications for exterior improvements located within the Historic Preservation Overlay (HPO), as outlined in SZO Article 3.M.
  • Review and decide on all appeals of the zoning administrator in his administration of SZO Article 3.M.
  • Review and decide on all changes to the HPO map and property inventory.
  • Review and produce a recommendation to the Town Council on any changes to the HPO map and property inventory resulting in a change in historic classification.
  • Review and produce a recommendation to the Town Council on any changes to the Smithfield Historic District Guidelines.

The HPO is not to be confused with the Smithfield, Virginia National Register of Historic Places Historic District, which is an honorary district that imposes no restrictions on property owners unless they have accepted historic tax credits.

Of the BHAR’s seven members, no less than five shall be Town residents, three of which shall be residents of the HPO.  One member must be an architect or contractor, one must also serve on the Planning Commission, and one must possess demonstrable knowledge of the architectural or historical development of the Town.  Below is a list of BHAR members and their qualifications:

For information on the BHAR's previous and upcoming activities, please see the agenda packets and minutes tabs of this page.

Please remember that, in order to appear on a BHAR meeting agenda, Town staff must receive all necessary applications and other materials no less than three weeks prior to the date of the next scheduled BHAR meeting.  The BHAR is typically scheduled to meet on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 PM in the Smithfield Center, 220 N Church St, Smithfield, VA 23430. 

Please direct all inquiries concerning the BHAR to Joseph Reish, Planning Technician & Code Enforcement Officer- Joe is the designated staff member contact for the BHAR.  Joe can be reached via email (jreish@smithfieldva.gov), telephone (1-(757)-365-4200), or mail (PO Box 246, Smithfield, VA 23431).

2021 BHAR membership, from left to right: Mr. Hornback, Vice-Chair Hillegass, Chair Gwaltney, Mr. Prevatte, Mrs. Lally, Mr. Hess, and Mr. Hill.

Here are some helpful links:

Isle of Wight County Circuit Court

Smithfield Board of Historic & Architectural Review Agenda Packets

Smithfield Board of Historic & Architectural Review Application

Smithfield Board of Historic & Architectural Review Bylaws

Smithfield Board of Historic & Architectural Review Minutes

Smithfield Center (Official Website)

Smithfield Events Calendar

Smithfield Historic District Guidelines (2006)

Smithfield Historic Preservation Overlay Map & Property Inventory

Smithfield Planning Commission

Smithfield Town Council

Smithfield, Virginia National Register of Historic Places Historic District Nomination Form (1973)

Smithfield Zoning Ordinance Article 3.M