Explore Historic Designation
In September 2016, after much deliberation and community input, the BCA Board decided to defer exploration of historic designation (HD) until the new year. At the BCA annual meeting in November 2016, several neighbors expressed support for continuing to explore HD; others wanted information about alternatives, including zoning, conservation districts, or "custom zones" (the new term for a zoning overlay). The board subsequently agreed to the formation of a new committee (aka Neighborhood Study Group) comprised of homeowners with various perspectives to explore alternatives alongside HD. BCA VP Nan Bell, as a neutral board member, observed committee meetings and reported back to the board. The board also decided that the HD Committee would continue its hiatus, but that individual committee members of that group were free to express their opinions as Burleith homeowners and advocate for their preferred positions.
In April 2017, the Neighborhood Study Group conducted a survey to help the community decide what, if any, action to take concerning housing development trends in Burleith. The results were publicized in June and were explored along with custom zoning at a "managing change" community meeting on October 25 at Washington International School.
The Historic Designation Committee created this web page as a way to share information and respond to residents' questions, comments, and concerns.
DC historic district designation protects neighborhoods of historic, cultural, and aesthetic signficance. The designation is made by the DC Historic Preservation Review Board if a district meets one or more of these criteria and the community supports the designation. More than 30 residential and commercial neighborhoods in Washington, DC, have already obtained historic status. Burleith, built primarily in the 1920s–1940s with a distinctive row house style and look, may be a candidate for historic designation.
How Will We as a Community Decide?
In early 2016 the Burleith Citizens Association formed a committee of Burleith residents to explore the pros and cons of historic designation and gauge the community’s wishes. The committee has organized opportunities for education and dialogue and was awarded (but has not yet accepted) a "seed money" grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for community outreach and the services of a preservation specialist. The BCA board has not yet voted on historic designation but is following the process closely. If ultimately the community is in favor of pursuing historic designation, the BCA will submit an application to the DC Historic Preservation Office. If the office determines that the application meets the criteria, Burleith homeowners will have 60 days to comment. There will also be a final hearing where opinions can be expressed before the Historic Preservation Review Board makes its decision.
To help cover historical research and community education expenses as the exploration process proceeds, please make a tax-deductible donation through the Burleith Community Fund. To make an online donation via credit card (or PayPal account), click the Donate button below. To donate by check, download the donation form, fill in the required information, and mail to the address on the form. Make checks payable to the Burleith Community Fund with "historic designation exploration" in the memo line. If you would like 100% of your contribution to benefit the exploration process, consider paying by check (or adding an extra 2.3% to your online contribution to defray the PayPal fee).
Community Meetings and Outreach
- Custom Zoning Town Hall #5 Summary, November 17, 2017 web post
- Housing Survey Results, September 3, 2017 web post
- Zoning Town Hall #4 Summary and Q&A, April 13, 2017 web post
- Community acceptance is required for HD, November 2016 statement
- HD Town Hall #3 Summary and Q&A, October 15, 2016 web post
- Town Hall #3, September 14, 2016: Mailed postcard; agenda; information session with David Maloney/State Historic Preservation Officer/DC Office of Historic Preservation
- HD + Rear Additions, August 25, 2016 web post
- Historic Designation Q&A and Q&A, August 4, 2016 web post
- HD Town Hall #2 Summary, June 22, 2016 web post
- Burleith picnic, June 18, 2016, information table
- Town Hall #2, June 16, 2016: Mailed postcard; agenda/handouts; presentations by HD Committee and Kim Williams/DC Office of Historic Preservation;
- Is Historic Designation Right for Burleith?, June 2016 Burleith Bell (page 3) with flyer insert
- Is Historic Designation Right for Burleith? and President's Message, June 3, 2016 web posts
- Historic Designation? and President's Message, May 2016 web posts
- President's Message, March 1, 2016 web post
- Town Hall #1, February 25, 2016: Kim Williams/DC Office of Historic Preservation and Paul DonVito/Foxhall Village Historic District
- Historic Designation Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Carol Baume, Ann Carper, Alex Frederick, Gwen Verhoff)
- Neighborhood Study Group: email@example.com
(Carol Baume, Walter Hillabrand, Ed Levy, Lenore Rubino)
Get Involved and Learn More
- Make a tax-deductible donation (see above) to cover historical research and community education expenses.
- Get updates on the website and in the Burleith Bell.
- Become a member of the Burleith Citizens Association.
- Join the Burleith listserv.
- Burleith residents weigh custom zoning to manage area development, Georgetown Current, November 22, 2017
- Burleith puts off landmark request, Georgetown Current, October 5, 2016
- Burleith explores historic designation, The Georgetowner, July 27, 2016
- Historic district vision faces debate in Burleith, Georgetown Current, June 22, 2016
- Burleith to consider historic designation, Georgetown Current, June 15, 2016
- Burleith website
- DC Office of Planning
- 2016 District of Columbia Historic Preservation Plan
- DC Historic Preservation Office
- About Historic Landmarks and Historic Districts
- Historic District Maps > Burleith architects, developers, years
- HistoryQuest DC
- How to Apply for Historic Designation
- Historic Preservation Review Board
- Design Guidelines and Historic District Guidelines
- Permits and Design Review
- DC Preservation League
- Effects of Historic Preservation on Property Values (November 2016) and More Effects (April 2017) by Rich Schmidt
- Foxhall Village Historic District
- NAPC Sample Guidelines for Solar Systems in Historic Districts