Historic District Commission

In March, 2002 Durham created a Historic District in town as part of its Comprehensive Plan and developed ordinances in accordance with that plan.  In 2007 the town appointed a Historic District Commission (HDC) to support the ordinances.  It is the mission of the HDC to identify, preserve, and educate the town about its unique historical heritage.  As outlined in the Historic District Ordinance the purpose of the district and commission is  “preserving, protecting, and enhancing buildings and places or areas within the town which possess historical or cultural attributes and for the economic welfare of the residents and visitors to the town.”

The Historic District is located in the Southwest Bend area of town near the bandstand, where Route 136 (Royalsborough Rd.), Route 9 (Newell Brook Rd.) and the Ferry Rd. meet.  The district includes properties on the Ferry Rd., properties on the river side of Route 9 for a short distance south from Southwest Bend, and properties on both sides of Route 136 for a short distance north from Southwest Bend.

The Historic District Commission is responsible for reviewing all applications for a Certificate of Appropriateness for properties in the Historic District.  The HDC reviews these applications for conformance to the local ordinances.  The Durham Historic District Ordinance can be viewed here.

What projects need a permit otherwise known as a Certificate of Appropriateness?

  • Any change in the exterior appearance of any building or structure in the Historic District by construction, addition, reconstruction, alteration or demolition
  • New construction of a principal or accessory building or structure visible from a public street where such building or structure will be located in the Historic District
  • Removal of any building in the Historic District

Applications for a Certificate of Appropriateness may be obtained from the Codes Enforcement Officer.  There is no fee for a Certificate of Appropriateness.  Applications are submitted to the Codes Enforcement Officer who reviews the application and sends it on for review by the HDC.  The applicant should be present at the meeting where that application is reviewed.

Please call the Codes Enforcement Officer at 207-844-1774 if you have questions.

By Laws of The Historic District

Board Members

Name Title
Candace Decsipkes Chairperson
Richard Hodges Vice-Chairperson
Mary Fallon Secretary
Paula B. Erdman-Purdy Member
Benjamin Love Member
Anita Sellars Member
Chelsea Wallace Member