In October 2020, my wife and I will be moving into the Browncroft neighborhood in Rochester, New York. I’m looking forward to participating in the neighborhood association. As I’m learning about the neighborhood, I decided to aggregate some links that others might find useful.
Designated Building of Historic Value (DBHV)
- Many houses in the Browncroft neighborhood are defined by the Rochester City’s Zoning Code as a DBHV. These buildings are regulated by City Code § 12-158, which provides in relevant part;
E. Designated buildings of historic value.
(1) Demolition of a designated building of historic value shall be prohibited.
(2) Significant architectural features, including but not limited to slate or tile roofing, original cladding, porches, cornices, etc., shall be maintained.
(3) Replacement windows in a designated building of historic value shall utilize true divided lights or simulated divided lights when matching the original mullion and/or muntin configuration. This does not include interior-only grids or grids between the panes of glass, except where the windows are being replaced in order to abate lead paint hazards.
New York SP Browncroft Historic District is part of the National Register of Historic Places.
New York State Historic Homeownership Rehabilitation Credit
- The tax credit is available for qualifying rehabilitation expenses when the of the project is at least $5,000. The credit is up to 20% of the total renovation costs (up to $50,000).
- Residents in the Browncroft Historic District whose homes are listed on the National Register of Historic Places can take advantage of this credit. “Within the last year, sixteen Browncroft homeowners took advantage of this credit,” reports the Summer 2020 issue of the Browncroft Crier.
- Historic homeownership rehabilitation credit, NY Department of Taxation and Finance.
- Tax Credit Programs, NY Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
- Historic Homeownership Tax Credit Program Handout
- Application Instructions & List of Eligible Projects - The instructions give examples of qualified rehabilitation expenses and expenses that do not qualify. A fence we are planning to install does not qualify for the credit, but solar panels we might one day install should qualify if the panels are “not visible from the public right-of-way.”
- David Crook, Fixing Up a Historic Home? New York May Have a Hefty Tax Credit for You, StreetEasy, April 15, 2019.
- The Summer 2020 issue of the Browncroft Crier informs that major repairs or changes to a house might require a permit from the city of Rochester.
- In September 2020, I emailed the City of Rochester Zoning Office at firstname.lastname@example.org regarding a fence permit and received a prompt response to my questions and useful help. They informed me that a fence permit is required but that a Certificate of Appropriateness is not because, “generally speaking, DBHV’s are ‘not as’ regulated as properties in Preservation Districts,” “where many Certificates of Appropriateness are required for many changes to buildings.”