PreserveMaryland, the Statewide Preservation Plan 2014-2018
Goal 2: Improve the Framework for Preservation
Federal, state and local laws – implemented through public programs and government
agencies – make up the legal and regulatory framework for preservation. In general,
the framework supports preservation regulation and preservation incentives.
Regulation. Almost all regulation related to preservation – that is,
laws that dictate what you can and cannot do with historic property – occurs
on the local level through local preservation ordinances. While the state enables those
powers, it does not control how local jurisdictions use them. Thus, local
regulation in Maryland varies widely. Federal and state agencies do regulate properties that are
owned by, subject to action by, or receive permits or funding from a state or federal entity.
Incentives. Many incentives exist for preservation activities, including
from agencies and entities that do not have preservation as a primary focus. The most prominent
incentive is the rehabilitation tax credit, which exists on the federal, state, and sometimes local
levels. Most incentives require adherence to preservation standards, which can seem like
regulation – but the programs are voluntary.
The recommended action steps for this goal address aspects of the framework that need to
be strengthened to best serve preservation in Maryland.
What We Need to Do to IMPROVE
Conduct needs assessment of the historic and cultural museum community to
provide targeted assistance to most vulnerable resources.
MHT, Maryland Association of History Museums (MAHM), Small Museum Association (SMA)
MAHDC has added three new Skill Sessions" training opportunities in addition to its Foundational Workshops:
Connecting with Your Community: Communication, Education and Outreach; Sustainability for Historic Preservation
Commissions; and Modernism for Maryland’s Historic Preservation Commissions.
Simplify tax credit process for small commercial projects to stimulate more activity.
Create public outreach plans for state programs and incentives. Evaluate ways to simplify
paperwork, access and processing time.
MHT; outreach partners include Preservation Maryland, Main Street, local
preservation organizations, local commissions
The Maryland Historical Trust developed and continues to implement a new outreach program
for state and federal rehabilitation tax credits. In addition to ongoing outreach on grants programs,
MHT migrated to a fully online grants system to reduce paper waste and inefficiency for applicants.
County And Local
Create public outreach plans for local programs and incentives. Evaluate ways
to simplify paperwork, access and processing time.
Local commissions, working with MHT, Main Street, local preservation organizations
Create and share local “best practice” case studies (e.g., tax credit, technical
practices, construction best practices, code enforcement).
Local staff; share with MAHDC and MHT for broader dissemination
Bring processes in line to qualify for Certified Local Government status.
Local governments not currently in CLG program
Promote the creation of local programs to protect archeological resources at the county level.
The Maryland Historical Trust has migrated its grants programs to a
fully online system.
Share Your Story
We would love to hear from you! Please share your organization or agency's activities related
to "Improving the Framework for Preservation." As much as possible, we will highlight case studies and
achievements in each goal area, so that we can learn from one another and continue to make
progress over the life of the plan.