Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 17. Libraries And Cultural Resources
Agency 10. Department of Historic Resources
Chapter 30. Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit

17VAC10-30-60. Standards for Rehabilitation.

A. The Standards for Rehabilitation are the criteria used to determine if a rehabilitation project qualifies as a certified historic rehabilitation. The intent of the standards is to promote the long-term preservation of a property's significance through the preservation of historic materials and features. The standards pertain to historic buildings of all materials, construction types, sizes, and occupancy and encompass the exterior and the interior of historic buildings. The standards also encompass related landscape features and the building's site and environment, as well as attached, adjacent, or related new construction. To be certified, a rehabilitation project shall be determined by the Department of Historic Resources to be consistent with the historic character of the structure or structures and, where applicable, the district in which it is located.

B. The Standards for Rehabilitation shall be applied to specific rehabilitation projects in a reasonable manner, taking into consideration economic and technical feasibility.

1. A property shall be used for its historic purpose or be placed in a new use that requires minimal change to the defining characteristics of the building and its site and environment.

2. The historic character of a property shall be retained and preserved. The removal of historic materials or alteration of features and spaces that characterize a property shall be avoided.

3. Each property shall be recognized as a physical record of its time, place, and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or architectural elements from other buildings, shall not be undertaken.

4. Most properties change over time; those changes that have acquired historic significance in their own right shall be retained and preserved.

5. Distinctive features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a historic property shall be preserved.

6. Deteriorated architectural features shall be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature should match the old in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities and, where possible, materials. Replacement of missing architectural features must be substantiated by documentary, physical, or pictorial evidence.

7. Chemical or physical treatments, such as sandblasting, that cause damage to historic materials shall not be used. The surface cleaning of structures, if appropriate, shall be undertaken using the gentlest means possible.

8. Significant archeological resources affected by a project shall be protected and preserved. If these resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures shall be undertaken.

9. New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment.

10. New additions and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken in such a manner that if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired.

C. The quality of materials, craftsmanship, and related new construction in a rehabilitation project should be commensurate with the quality of materials, craftsmanship, and design of the historic structure in question. Certain treatments, if improperly applied, or certain materials by their physical properties, may cause or accelerate physical deterioration of historic buildings. Inappropriate rehabilitation measures include, but are not limited to: improper masonry repointing techniques, improper exterior masonry cleaning methods, improper introduction of insulation where damage to historic fabric would result, and incompatible additions and new construction on historic properties. In almost all situations, these measures and treatments will result in denial of certification.

D. In certain limited cases, it may be necessary to dismantle and rebuild portions of a certified historic structure to stabilize and repair weakened structural members and systems. In these cases, the Department of Historic Resources will consider this extreme intervention as part of a certified historic rehabilitation if:

1. The necessity for dismantling is justified in supporting documentation;

2. Significant architectural features and overall design are retained; and

3. Adequate historic materials are retained to maintain the architectural and historic integrity of the overall structure.

E. The qualities of a property and its environment that qualify it as a certified historic structure are determined taking into account all available information, including information derived from the physical and architectural attributes of the building; these determinations are not limited to information contained in the Virginia Landmarks Register nomination reports.

Statutory Authority

§§ 10.1-2202 and 58.1-339.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 13, eff. April 5, 2006; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 10, eff. February 10, 2016.

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