A Brief History
HARBs were authorized in Pennsylvania by the “Historic District Act” dated July 13, 1961. The 7 person Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) meets monthly on the third Wednesday at 7:00 in the Borough Council Chambers. HARB consists of persons with knowledge and interest in the preservation of the Historic District.
The purpose of Gettysburg's Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) is to regulate the erection, reconstruction, alteration, restoration, demolition or razing of buildings within the (local) historic districts (as designated by Gettysburg Borough Council).
HARB is an advisory board to Borough Council which, using its knowledge of the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and the Gettysburg Design Guide, makes recommendations to either approve or deny proposed alterations to properties in the Historic District. It is important to note that all decisions rendered must receive a majority vote of Council, or they do not stand. Although Council votes in favor of most HARB decisions, Council has overturned HARB in the past, on both major and minor issues.
HARB is composed of seven (7) regular members, appointed by Borough Council. Of those members, one (1) member must be a building inspector. All members must have demonstrated interest or related expertise in historic buildings.
If you live in the HARB District and are proposing to do any exterior work which is visible from a public street or alley, you must receive HARB approval before undertaking the work even if a permit is not required.