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Historic Area

The Town of Port Deposit is Designated an Historic District



The Town of Port Deposit is on the National Historic Registry.  This means any exterior changes you make to your property must be approved by the Historic Area Commission.  For any exterior changes to any portion of your property which is visible or intended to be visible from a public way you must file an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness with the Historic Area Commission (HAC).  This Commission will grant permission to construct, alter, reconstruct, move or demolish the landmark, site or structure.



The Historic Area Commission shall give considerations to the following:


Historic, archaeological, or architectural significance of the landmark, site, or structure, and its relationship to the historic, archaeological, or architectural significance of the surrounding area;


The relationship of the exterior features of a landmark, site or structure to the remainder of the landmark or structure and the surrounding area;


The general compatibility of proposed exterior design, scale, proportion, arrangement, texture, and materials to the landmark, site or structure;


The general compatibility of proposed exterior design to the surrounding area;


Any other factors including aesthetic factors that the Commission deems to be pertinent.


The Commission shall consider only exterior features of a landmark or structure and shall not consider any interior arrangements.


Strict judgments of plans for sites or structures determined by research to be of historic archeological or architectural significance will be imposed.


Sites with little historic, archaeological or architectural significance, or of plans involving new construction, unless the plans would seriously impair the historic, archaeological or architectural significance of surrounding sites or structures, will be judged more leniently.




In the case of a site or structure considered to be valuable for its historic archaeological or architectural significance, the Commission may approve the proposed construction, alteration, moving, or demolition if the following are considered:


Formulate an economically feasible plan with the owner(s) of the site or structure for the preservation of the site or structure.


Determine that the proposed construction, alteration, or reconstruction does not materially impair the historic, archaeological or architectural significance of surrounding sites or structure.


The site or structure is a deterrent to major improvement program that will be of substantial benefit to the Town.


Retention of the site or structure would cause undue financial hardship to the owner; or


Retention of the site or structure would not be in the best interest of a majority of persons in the Town.


If no feasible plan can be formulated, the Commission shall have ninety (90) days from the date of the decision to negotiate with the owner and other parties in an effort to find a means of preserving the site or structure.



A Certificate of Appropriateness certifying the Commissions approval, modification or rejection of each application must be submitted to the administrative official.


The Certificate of Appropriateness must be filed with the application for a building permit or historic area work permit.


The Commission shall act upon the application within forty-five (45) days from the date the completed application was filed.  Failure to act within forty-five (45) days shall constitute automatic approval of the proposed changes unless an extension of this forty-five day period is agreed upon in writing by the applicant and the Commission or the application is withdrawn.


If you are unsure if your property falls within the Designated Historic District, please contact the Town of Port Deposit at (410) 378-2121 or email

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