Historic / Architectural Review Board

Regular Meetings

  • 8 a.m.
  • 2nd Tuesday of every month
  • 25 Court Street
    Mayor's Conference Room
    Cortland, NY 13045

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes


  • Linda Kline, Chair
    12 Arthur Avenue
    Cortland, NY 13045

Historic District Application & Guidelines

The application and guidelines for Cortland's Historic District are available. Applications must be submitted to the City Clerk's Office, attention of Devon Rainbow (email).

Membership Terms

The Historic District Commission is hereby created, consisting of 7 members, who shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to the approval of the Common Council, and whose terms of office shall be 3 years. The first appointees' terms shall be staggered such that no more than 3 positions shall expire at the same time in order to establish the staggered rotation of the expiration of members' terms of office.

The appointees to this Commission must possess the following qualifications:
  • One member must be a professional in the related areas of architecture, historical preservation or urban design;
  • One member must be the City Historian;
  • Two members must be members of the Downtown Business Association; and
  • Three members must be persons who have a known interest in the preservation of historical sites within the City.
Each member of the Commission shall successfully complete a basic qualification program intended for Planning Board persons within 12 months of appointment and thereafter shall participate annually in a continuing education course to be approved by the Common Council upon the recommendation of the Commission.

Additional Powers of the Historic District Commission

The Commission shall:
  • Develop guidance standards for all projects subject to its jurisdiction. Any such standards may not be adopted until a public hearing is noticed and conducted in a manner similar to the hearing that is required to consider any amendment to the Zoning Code;
  • Cooperate with and advise the Common Council and other municipal boards and agencies in matters involving historic and/or architectural sites and buildings;
  • Advise owners of historic buildings on methods of preservation and restoration;
  • Select a Chairperson;
  • Keep minutes of all meetings. The City Clerk shall be the secretary to the Commission and shall take the minutes.
  • Hold at least one meeting each month and may hold additional meetings at other times at the call of the Chairperson. The Chairperson may cancel any meeting.
The Commission may:
  • Employ professional consultants, secretaries, clerks or other such personnel as may be necessary to assist the Commission in carrying out its duties, provided that such expenses are authorized by the Common Council;
  • Conduct surveys of buildings for the purpose of determining those of historic and/or architectural significance and pertinent facts about them;
  • Formulate recommendations concerning the preparation of maps, brochures and historical markers for selected historic and/or architectural sites and buildings.

Appeals from Decisions of Historic District Commission

Any decision of the Historic District Commission may be appealed by any aggrieved person, the standing for which shall be determined by the same standard as a court utilizes for review of a zoning variance decision. Such appeal shall be heard by the Planning Commission upon a written notice of appeal being filed with the Planning Commission within 30 days of the written decision of the Historic District Commission having been filed with the City Clerk. Such notice of appeal shall identify all such provisions of the decision appealed.

Upon receipt of such a notice of appeal, the Planning Commission shall notify the Historic District Commission with a request to the Historic District Commission to appear and support its decision at a public hearing scheduled upon five days' notice to consider such appeal. The Planning Commission shall consider the presentation of representatives of the aggrieved person, the Historic District Commission and anyone from the general public who desires to comment.

The Planning Commission shall render its decision within 30 days from closing the public hearing. The Planning Commission may only overrule the Historic District Commission by a majority plus one vote, and in such a case its reasons for such a decision must be articulated in its decision.