Winchester’s local Historic District (HW zoning) is quite large at over 1200 documented structures over approximately 45 city blocks. There is often confusion about what area the local Historic District covers and whether or not a property is subject to any oversight for exterior changes.
All properties within the local Historic District are subject to review by the Winchester Board of Architectural Review for exterior alterations. Refer to Article 14 of the Winchester Zoning Ordinance and the Design Guidelines for the Historic District. For questions and more information about BAR oversight and applications, direct your inquiries to the Winchester Planning and Zoning Department, which acts as the city staff for the BAR.
This may sound very complicated, overwhelming, and impossible for an individual to figure out what the requirements are and where to go for information. There are a few ways you can check the status of your property on your own, quickly and easily, to determine whether you are subject to BAR oversight:
How to Check the Winchester Historic District (HW Zoning) Status
- Map of the Winchester Local Historic District
- GIS Interactive Zoning Map
- Address Range of the Winchester Local Historic District
- If still in doubt, confirm the property’s status with the Winchester City Planning and Zoning Office, (540) 667-1815.
If you are new to the area, you may not realize some of the ways you’ve seen other historic districts and protected properties marked are not the same in Winchester. Here are some ways you may expect to see a historic district marked that are NOT a reliable indicator in Winchester:
How NOT to Check the Winchester Historic District (HW Zoning) Status
- Historic building plaques (The oval plaques in Winchester are recognition for buildings of significance within the district, but are an optional part of the local historic district and denote no other protections or restrictions.)
- Street signage (Historic district boundaries are not fully marked by signage and such signs should be used as a guide only.)
- Real Estate Assessment Search (HW zoning is NOT shown on the web assessment search.)
Do you have any further ideas to add to the list? Perhaps you’ve expected to be able to check local Historic District status in some other way you don’t see listed here. Please drop us a note at PHW and we will keep this post updated.