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Frequently Asked Questions

Cultural Resources

  • What are “Historic Resources”?

    The County Code defines historic resources as “Properties, building, structures, districts and archaeological sites that represent County history, are associated with the lives of historically significant people, that have historically significant architectural value, of that can yield information important to the County’s history or prehistory.”

  • How do I find out if my property is historic?

    The quickest way to find out if your property has an historic resource on it is to check the County Historic Properties Inventory. The interactive database allows you to search by tax ID number, address, historic property name, or by State Inventory Number. We strongly suggest using the TAX Id Number to get the most accurate results. If you find out you have a site on your property (a historic building, and archaeological site, or a historic cemetery,) please contact our office directly to learn more about the site, or to find out what this means for developing your property.

  • What does the County Code require if my property contains an historic resource?

    When an owner or developer seeks a development permit form the County, the Code provides guidance for when an historic resources has to be retained and preserved, and how it should be incorporated into new development. First all historic resources must be clearly identified, and then the resources are evaluated to determine if they warrant protection. If they are significant to the County’s history and heritage, staff works with each property owner or developer to comply with the provisions of the Code.

  • I just found out my house is historic! What am I allowed to do?

    While historically significant buildings that retain structural integrity as a general rule cannot be demolished, a full range or rehabilitation, upgrades, modernization, and sensitive additions to the historic building are allowed and encouraged. Adaptive reuse of historically significant sites ensures they can continue to contribute to County’s physical and cultural landscape.

  • I want to rehabilitate my historic property but doing it the right way is more expensive. Does the County provide any financial incentives to help?
    The County now offers a Historic Tax Credit that offsets qualified expenses against ones property tax. For “landmark” properties, including those buildings that contribute to an Historic District, 25% of your rehabilitation expenses can be applied against your annual property tax bill, up to $50,000, and it can be spread over 5 years.
  • Do I live on a Scenic & Historic Road and what does that mean?

    The Historical Roads Designation protects these unique landscapes and viewsheds when certain development in proposed, refer to Article 17-6-504, and there are some limitations on what uses are allowed on those designated roads under the Zoning code found in Article 18.

  • I want to learn more about the County’s history and archaeology. Where do I start?

    The Cultural Resources Division, in coordination with non-profits like Lost Towns Project, Inc. and Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation, Inc. offer citizens the opportunity to rediscover Anne Arundel County’s history first hand through our Preservation Stewardship Program. Whether you are a retiree or a college student, or even if you are just curious and just want to see how archaeology happens, we have an activity that will suit your interests.  We offer internships, regular workshops and lectures, and we encourage the general public to dig alongside the County’s professional archaeologist, volunteer in our lab, or research the County’s past at the Maryland State Archives. No prior experience is necessary, just an enthusiasm for the past.  Email Drew Webster at [email protected] to learn more!