Historic Preservation Commission

Meetings

  • 6 pm
  • 1st Wednesday of every month
  • Town Hall
    20 Bridge Street
    Bluffton, SC 29910

Agendas 

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. 

View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes

Members

  • Bruce Trimbur - Chair - Old Town Resident, Freeholder or Business Owner 
  • Elaine Gallagher Adams - Old Town Resident, Freeholder or Business Owner  - Technical Seat
  • Michael Lovecchio - At-Large
  • VACANT - Old Town Resident, Freeholder or Business Owner
  • Jesse Solomon - Old Town Resident, Freeholder or Business Owner  - Technical Seat 
  • Kerry Schmelter - Old Town Resident, Freeholder or Business Owner - Technical Seat
  • Mary Vaux Bell  - Old Town Resident, Freeholder or Business Owner

Duties

The Historic Preservation Commission has those functions, duties, and powers of a board of architectural review provided for in South Carolina state law and as determined by the applicable zoning portions of this Ordinance, including, but not limited to:

  • Reviewing and providing recommendation to the Planning Commission for properties to be added to the Old Town Bluffton Historic District
  • Reviewing and recommending action on, or approving, approving with conditions, or denying, applications in accordance with Article 3, Application Process of this Ordinance
  • Establishing and maintaining a system for the survey and inventory of historic properties within the Town of Bluffton
  • Reviewing and recommending to Town Council structures to be designated or removed from being designated as a Contributing Structure
  • Reviewing and providing recommendations on all proposed National Register nominations to Town Council for any structure within its jurisdiction; and 6. Such other responsibilities and powers granted explicitly by South Carolina state law, this Ordinance, or delegated by Town Council

(UDO Section 2.2.6.E.)

Zoning Districts

The Old Town Bluffton Historic District is divided into five designated Zoning Districts, as shown below. The Zoning Districts reflect the character of the streets in the various places within the Old Town Bluffton Historic District. The Zoning Districts are as follows:

  • Neighborhood Core Historic District (NC-HD)
  • Neighborhood Center Historic District (NCE-HD)
  • Neighborhood General Historic District (NG-HD)
  • Neighborhood Conservation Historic District (NCV-HD)
  • Riverfront Edge Historic District (RV-HD)

Old Town Master Plan

Starting in October of 2005, the Town government, and local citizens along with the town planning firm of Dover, Kohl & Partners, worked together to create the Old Town Master Plan. The planning process began with a review of all previous plans and studies and a thorough evaluation of the study area. Once this information was analyzed, the Town held a design charrette where, through community involvement, a workable vision and plan for the future of Old Town was crafted. The Old Town Master Plan was adopted by Town Council on June 30, 2006. The Old Town Master Plan can be viewed here.

Researching Your Property

Copies of the 1996 and 2008 Statewide Surveys of Historic Properties and The National Register of Historic Places Nomination are available for viewing in the Growth Management Department. For additional information on historic properties in Bluffton, please contact the Historic Bluffton Foundation located within the Heyward House Welcome Center at 70 Boundary Street and inquire about the Caldwell Archives.

Site Feature Permit

Sometimes small projects may be reviewed by Town Staff through a Site Feature Permit. This type of work includes:

  • Exterior non-structural work of a minor nature that includes modifications or renovations to an existing building or structure. Such work is discouraged on the principle façade, as it is the intent of this section to preserve the outward appearance of the building or structure. Examples of allowable work include, but are not limited to, adding screens or balusters to and existing porch, new decks without a roof covering, and improvements made for ADA accessibility.
  • Garden Structures
  • Minor exterior modifications that do not alter the exterior architectural character
  • Modifications or improvements to site elements such as changes to parking lots, sidewalks, landscaping, and lighting
  • Ordinary maintenance and repair of any of the existing features of a structure that does not involve a change in design or outward appearance. Materials shall be a like for like replacement or equivalent to be reviewed and approved by the UDO Administrator
  • Signs