Historic District Commission
Phone: (978) 929-6633
View the Historic District Commission Calendar
Meetings are typically held at 7:30 PM on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Please check the calendar for official meeting postings.
Agendas & Minutes
Agendas are available prior to each meeting.
Minutes are available following approval.
View the Historic District Commission Membership List
The HDC is responsible for:
- Preserving the heritage of Acton by protecting the architecture and integrity of our three designated Historic Districts: Acton Center, South Acton, and West Acton
- Administering and enforcing the Town's local Historic District Bylaw, which was enacted by the Town in 1990
Most changes to the exterior appearance of a building or site requires the HDC approval in the form of a Certificate of Appropriateness issued by the HDC before the work begins. A property owner must submit an Application for Certificate. In some cases, the HDC will determine that the proposed work is excluded from its jurisdiction and issue a Certificate of Non-Applicability. In order to obtain approval from another Town board or department (for example, a building permit), an owner must have either a Certificate of Appropriateness or Non-Applicability from the HDC.
Some changes to properties in a Historic District do not need HDC approval. You can read about these exemptions in the HDC Rules and Regulations. In general, if you have questions about whether the proposed changes fall under HDC review, please e-mail us or call us at (978) 264-9632.
The Application Process
It can take up to 60 days for an Application for Certificate to be approved by the HDC. Fortunately, most applications are reviewed and approved in a shorter time. All applications require notification of abutters and some require a public hearing. The legal framework for this process is set forth in the Town's Historic District Bylaw and the HDC Rules and Regulations.
The Application and Review Flow Chart and the Annual Historic District Property Owner Letter are available to help you understand the process. The HDC has also published a set of Design Guidelines, Solar Guidelines, and the Criteria for HDC Decisions.