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Historic Preservation Commission
Per Article 12 of the Kennebunk Zoning Ordinance (PDF), "No building or structure, including fieldstone walls or other wall structures, fences, steps, landscaping, and paving shall be altered, reconstructed, erected, restored, moved, or demolished, and no sign, light, fence, wall, or there appurtenant fixtures shall be erected or displayed on any site or lot or on the exterior of any building or structure, nor shall any building permit or other Kennebunk permits be issued, therefore, until a corresponding certificate of appropriateness has first been issued."
Current Agenda and Application Information
View Application and Instructions (PDF) to apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness, as required and outlined above.
View current Historic Preservation Commission Agendas and corresponding meeting materials with link to Zoom meetings.
The Commission applies the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties in the evaluation of a proposal, as well as Kennebunk's own District Design Guidelines, which provides information on approved materials and standards for design, repair and reconstruction.
Hard copies of these Guidelines are available for residents of the District in the Community Development Department. View Guidelines in their entirety online here (PDF). Specific chapters and components are linked in the tables below.
- Barns, Garages & Outbuildings
- Chimneys, Drainage & Roof components
- Entrance Surrounds & Doors
- Fences, Walkways, Walls & Driveways
Every effort should be made to retain historic barns, garages and outbuildings, including original doors, windows, siding and roofing material.
If replacement of deteriorated features is necessary, repairs should be made in-kind, using matching materials and finishes as close as possible to original.
Brick was used in the construction of commercial, residential and civic buildings in the District.
Most buildings in the District have one or more chimneys. Chimneys should be checked annually for spalling brick and loose mortar, and repointed as necessary.
Roofs, drainage systems, dormers and other roof components such as balustrades, cupolas, cornices and friezes provide historical reference for homes in the District.
Read more about Chimneys, Drainage, Roofs and Roof components (PDF)
The entrance surround and door often exhibits the fullest ornamental development of a style, and is a major character-defining feature of a building.
Fences and walls remain an important character-defining features of a historic property and the surrounding neighborhood.
This section also contains information on Lighting, Pools and Signs in the Historic District.
Foundation construction in the District evolved as technology advanced. Many early foundations were constructed of fieldstones, and later granite slabs or occasionally brick. The majority of contemporary homes in the District have foundations of poured concrete or concrete block.
Landscape plantings are an important part of the District. Like architectural styles, American landscape styles have changed gradually over time, and design periods overlap and blend together.
The Commission recognizes that over time, due to decay, disease, or weather events, tree removal may be necessary. The Commission requires a letter from a Certified Arborist to support the need for removal.
Read more about Landscaping, Plantings, Trees and see a list of suggested period plantings approved for use in the District (PDF)
The primary purpose of paint is to prevent moisture penetration and paint is one of the least expensive ways to maintain a building's historic fabric.
If painting is being proposed, please submit a paint color chip from a paint manufacturer with an application submission, preferably from a historic color palette.
The porch is an important architectural element, not only as a protected entry to a house but as a feature of the larger streetscape as well.
Siding protects the house from the damaging effects of weather, and requires regular maintenance. Many structures in the District retain their original siding and there is considerable diversity in design and appearance.
In many historic buildings, the window sash, frame, and surround are a major character-defining feature of the building. It is important to retain the original window details, such as the size of the opening, type of sash, sills, lintels, and decorative moldings.
If new or replacement windows are proposed, please provide a manufacturer's spec sheet with your application submission.
The Historic Preservation Commission meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month as needed at 6:30 p.m. on the 3rd floor of Town Hall. All meeting agendas are posted on the bulletin board on the 2nd floor of Town Hall and on the Meeting Calendar.
There is a 10 day advance notice required to abutters of properties with an application before the Commission. Once an application is received, staff will calculate the time needed to meet this notification requirement and schedule the application to be heard on the next available Wednesday meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission.
|Barbara Fleshman||Vice Chair||2025|
|Stephen Dalzell||Alternate Member
|James Nathan "Nate" Cartwright||Alternate Member||2023|
|Sally Carpenter||Select Board Liaison|
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