Local Historic Districts
Applying for Local Historic District Permit
- First, register an account on our online permit portal, Accela. Follow this guide:
you may skip this step if you already have an account.
Guide to Registering
- Then, open our guide to applying for a Local Historic District Permit on Accela.
Guide to Applying
- Click the following link to open Accela and follow the steps in the Guide to Applying.
Apply for Permit
Existing Historic Districts
There are 9 Local Historic Districts in Brookline: Chestnut Hill North, Cottage Farm, Crowninshield, Graffam-McKay, Harvard Avenue, Lawrence, Pill Hill, Wild-Sargent, and Olmsted/Richardson. Most modifications to the exterior of buildings and some landscape alterations in these LHDs require review by the Town to ensure that they are appropriate to the historic character of the LHD. You can also find detailed information about each LHD at the links below.
For details on proposed new LHDs, please see our Proposed LHDs project page
Chestnut Hill North Local Historic District
Cottage Farm Local Historic District
Graffam-McKay Local Historic District
Harvard Avenue Local Historic District
Lawrence Local Historic District
Pill Hill Local Historic District
Wild-Sargent Local Historic District
Crowninshield Local Historic District
Olmsted/Richardson Thematic Local Historic District
Design Review Process
The design review process begins only when an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness, a Certificate of Non-Applicability, or a Certificate of Hardship, accompanied by plans, elevations, and specifications, as may be relevant to the case, is submitted to the Preservation Commission office. Consultation with Preservation Commission staff before submitting an application is encouraged to provide familiarity with your property and give advice on appropriate approaches. A preliminary site visit or meeting may be requested by staff. Please contact staff if you have any questions or would like to make an appointment.
As of January 1, 2020 all Local Historic District applications must be submitted online through Accela.
For guidance on completing the application, please see the instructions for applying online.
For more information about Brookline’s 9 Local Historic Districts, design review principles, and the review process, as well as maps and frequently asked questions, please refer to the Design Guidelines for Local Historic Districts.
The Commission is currently working on revisions to the Design Guidelines, which are expected to be finished in November of 2023. For more information please see the LHD Design Guidelines Revision project page.
Meeting Dates and Application Filing Deadlines
The Preservation Commission typically meets on the second Tuesday of each month. Application deadlines are exactly three weeks before the meeting. Please note that only complete applications will be placed on an agenda. Please see the Preservation Commission page for meeting dates and deadlines.
Forming a Local Historic District
If you are interested in forming a Local Historic District for your home or neighborhood, please see the following links for helpful information. Preservation Planners are available to discuss the details and answer any questions.
Guide to Forming a Local Historic District in Brookline
State Booklet on Establishing a LHD in Massachusetts