Enjoy Barrington

Jennifer Tennant, Assistant Director of Development Services

 historical   historical3


2018 Historic District Survey Results

Developed in 2001, the Historic Overlay District is intended to protect and preserve historical areas of the Village and individual structures and sites within this area having historic, architectural or cultural significance. It is also intended to ensure that any new development or redevelopment and the subdivision of lots within the Historic Overlay District is compatible with the character of the District. In addition, the District is intended to enhance the appeal of the Village's central historic neighborhoods as distinctive areas and to enhance property values within the District. 

Exterior modifications to all contributing and non-contributing structures in the Historic Overlay District require approval by the Architectural Review Commission, except for, smaller projects such as replacement roofs or windows, which may be approved administratively if deemed appropriate by the Zoning Official as long as no historic or original materials are being removed from the structure. 

All exterior modification to structures or sites within the Historic Overlay District requires a Certificate of Appropriateness, in addition to a Building Permit. 

Contributing Structures
Contributing structures are designated based on the following criteria:

  • Significance in local, regional, state or national history, architecture, engineering or culture associated with at least one (1) of the following:
    • They are associated with the events of the lives of persons that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or
    • They embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or
    • They exemplify elements of our culture, economic, social or historical heritage; or
    • They have yielded, or are likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history.
  • Physical integrity of the property in terms of architectural design, setting, materials, workmanship, character and association as defined by the National Park Service for the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Contributing structures or sites shall be at least fifty (50) years old, or if not at least fifty (50) years old, have achieved exceptional importance or significance within the past fifty (50) years.

Noncontributing Structures
Structure or sites, which do not meet the criteria listed above, constitute non-contributing properties.

Example of Historic Preservation 
141 lincoln before renovation    141 after renovation

Are there any resources for property owners who need help with preservation resources?
The organization, Landmarks Illinois, maintains a database called the Illinois Restoration Resource Directory which can be found here.

Who reviews changes I want to make to my house if it is in the Historic District?

The Architectural Review Commission is charged with review of proposed changes to the exterior of buildings within the historic district. If approved, the Commission issues a Certificate of Appropriateness, which allows the building permit to be issued. 

Can I put an addition on my historic property? 
Yes, you usually can! The regulations require additions to be located away from the front face of the building to preserve the period streetscape. The ARC encourages people to meet with them early in the design process to get feedback on the design. The addition should be compatible with the existing architecture of your house and appropriate for your streetscape. Additions also must comply with all zoning requirements and obtain building permits prior to construction.

If my building is located in the Historic District and I am constructing an addition or exterior alteration, what would I have to do? 
Before acquiring the building permit for your addition, you would present your plans to the Architectural Review Commission. The Commission would review the proposed plans to make sure that they are appropriate to the historic district. If the addition is appropriate, the Commission would issue a Certificate of Appropriateness. You would then apply for your building permit. 

Is there a fee for a Certificate of Appropriateness? 
The single and two family residential fee is $250.00. The multi-family and commercial fee is $750.00. 

How long does the process take? 
A Certificate of Appropriateness generally takes 60-90 days. After filing your application, a preliminary meeting is conducted with the Architectural Review Commission to advise the Commission of the proposed project and to receive direction. Before a final Public Hearing can be scheduled, a final submittal addressing the Commission’s comments will be needed along with your application fee. The Public Hearing requires a 15-day public notice. A Certificate of Appropriateness could require additional processing time if your project also requires additional approvals, such as a Zoning Variation or Planned Development. 

Is a Certificate of Appropriateness all I need? 
No. You still must have approved building, fence, sign, electric and other permits as required by the Village of Barrington. 

Can I put up wallpaper and remodel the interior without ARC review and a Certificate of Appropriateness? 
The Architectural Review Commission has no jurisdiction on the interior of historic properties, just the exterior. 

Do I need permission for ordinary maintenance to my house? 
You do not need ARC approval to make minor repairs to your home.  However, a permit may still be necessary therefore please contact Staff to discuss any exterior projects aside from painting.   Please be advised that removal and replacement of existing desings, materials, etc. may not be approved depending on whether those items are in compliance with the current Historic District regulations.  

If my house is in the Historic District can I paint it any color I want? 
Yes. The Architectural Review Commission does not conduct paint color review, but the Historic Overlay District Design  Guidelines (Section 21: Paint and Paint Colors) provide direction on colors appropriate to certain architectural styles. 

Is there historical information about my house? 
Yes, the Village maintains a digital database of historic property surveys. The Barrington Area Historical Society may also have information regarding your property. 

Is this just another level of bureaucracy? 
While it is true that an additional step is needed for some projects, the benefits of protecting the architectural heritage found in the Village of Barrington outweigh this added step. The Village of Barrington contains structures built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Without a local historic district, these gems that have lasted so long could be demolished or irreparably altered tomorrow. 

Is my home within the Historic Overlay District? 
In order to determine if your property is within the Historic Overlay District, view the Historic Overlay District Map and/or Historic District Survey.  The survey designates the classification (contributing or non-contributing) of all primary and accessory structures on the property.  


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