Historic Property Alterations

Rockville reveres its historic roots and is committed to preserving the local history. To protect the historic homes and districts in Rockville, historic properties in need of modifications, adjustments or additions must be reviewed and approved by the Historic District Commission.

Projects within a Historic District that generally require Historic District Commission review include:

  • Additions and new construction
  • Demolition of historic structures
  • Alterations to windows, doors, chimneys, roofing or siding
  • Fence alterations
  • Signage alterations
  • Driveway or parking lot modifications
  • Major landscape modifications, including tree removal
Still have questions? Contact: 

Historic Preservation
111 Maryland Ave.
Rockville, MD 20850
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Historic Property Alteration Review Levels

The following review levels follow the same process (see below), but are intended for different types of work

Courtesy Review

The Historic District Commission conducts a Courtesy Review as an informal, non-binding review of a concept or proposal for exterior or landscape changes to a property within a historic district. It is recommended, but not required, prior to submittal of an application for Certificate of Approval. The review is meant to aid in the formal process by giving feedback on design proposals before the homeowner submits the formal Certificate of Approval application. 

Certificate of Approval

A Certificate of Approval is required before starting work or alterations on properties within a Local Historic District. The Rockville Historic District Commission reviews and approved a Certificate of Approval after determining that alterations are compliant with adopted design guidelines and preservation best practices. The Certificate of Approval process is distinct from other city permitting requirements and an applicant is responsible for receiving all other applicable building and use permits prior to construction. Applicants are encouraged to utilize the courtesy review process to obtain HDC input prior to submitting a Certificate of Approval application and final development plan. See Rockville Code Section 25.07.13 for more on the Certificate of Approval.

Evaluation of Historic Significance

Any proposed demolition in the City of Rockville of a single-family dwelling, duplex, or up to three-story townhouse may be subject to an Evaluation of Historic Significance to determine the historic significance of the structure(s) proposed for demolition.

Staff Approval

Minor projects that have no significant historical impact and meet the adopted design guidelines, such as fences, signage, mature tree removal, and new small accessory structures (e.g. sheds), are eligible for Certificate of Approval by staff. The Chief of Planning determines whether such projects may receive a Certificate of Approval without Historic District Commission review.

Historic District Review Process

Request Historic Review

Before work begins on a structure within a historic district or any demolition, you must apply for historic review. To request a review, complete the application and submit it to the Historic Preservation office at Rockville City Hall, 111 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850. You will receive notice of your application within 45 days.

The Historic District Commission meets the third Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall. Once the request is filed and approved, you will receive your review date. 

Historic District Commission Review (if applicable)

On the date of your review, you will present your proposed work to the commission with appropriate reference material such as photos, drawings and materials planned to be used. Upon review, your plans will be approved, denied or amended based on feedback from the Commission. If approved, you may proceed to the next step to apply for development review or issuance of a building permit.