Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB)

HARB Ordinance (Art. 1731)

About HARB

The purpose of the City of York, 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 York City Council). HARB is much misunderstood. It is a local historic district, which is separate from the National Register Historic District. (Most residents will have no contact with the National Register district regulations, unless government money, tax credits, or a government agency is involved in their project.) HARB is only an advisory board to City Council – 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 7 regular and 3 alternate members, appointed by City Council. Of those members, 1 member must be recommended by the York County Heritage Trust, 1 member must be a registered architect, 1 member must be a licensed real estate broker, and 1 member must be a building inspector. Four members must be residents of / or property owners in the City of York, and 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 pbulic street or alley, you must receive HARB approval before undertaking the work even if a permit is not required. HARB has a paid consultant, currently JMT, who reviews all applications and writes a review of each application for the Board to consider. HARB is constantly trying to streamline its process and many items are now either exempted or are dealt with as “staff reviews” and do not have to come before the HARB Board at all. Furthermore, the consultant is constantly available to advise anyone on what the HARB Board will be looking for from each application. A brief history: HARBs were authorized in Pennsylvania by the “Historic District Act” dated July 13, 1961. York City Council established York’s HARB by ordinance in 1970, and its second in 1975. A larger HARB district, which encompasses the first two, was established in 2002.


2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m. City Council Chambers – 1st Floor 101 S. George St. *Unless another location or time is advertised.

  • HARB to Meet Virtually

    York City Historic Architecture Review Board to Meet Virtually

    (21 April 2020) York, PA — The City of York continues to take proactive and preventative measures in alignment with the statewide stay-at-home order issued by Governor Tom Wolf. In an effort to protect citizens and city staff, the York City Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) will transition to a virtual format beginning with its meeting on Thursday, April 23 at 6:00 PM. HARB members, consulting staff, and applicants will teleconference in from their homes to participate in the meeting. Below are options for citizens to participate in HARB meetings until the stay-at-home order is lifted. (Read more)

    La Junta de Revisión de Arquitectura Histórica de la Ciudad de York se reunirá virtualmente

    (21 de abril del 2020) York, PA – La ciudad de York continúa tomando medidas proactivas y preventivas en alineación con la orden estatal de permanencia en el hogar emitida por el gobernador Tom Wolf. En un esfuerzo por proteger a los ciudadanos y al personal de la ciudad, la Junta de Revisión de Arquitectura Histórica de la Ciudad de York (HARB) hará la transición a un formato virtual a partir de su reunión el jueves 23 de abril a las 6:00 p.m. Los miembros de HARB, el personal de consultoría y los solicitantes recibirán teleconferencias desde sus hogares para participar en la reunión. A continuación se encuentran las opciones para que los ciudadanos participen en las reuniones de HARB hasta que se levante la orden de quedarse en casa. (Lee mas)

HARB Documents and Info

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