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Preservation Issues and Resources

Although we are very concerned about preservation issues, we are not a regulatory agency.  We will, however, do our best to assist you in addressing your questions regarding regional historic preservation issues, and direct you to the proper resources.

Following are various preservation entities and resources relevant to Kent County:

Tax Credit Programs

Residents of designated heritage areas, or owners of designated properties, may be eligible to apply for Tax Credit Programs & preservation incentives:

Maryland Historical Trust Tax Credit Programs for Heritage Properties:

State tax credit programs:

For information & area sitemaps:

Federal tax credit programs:

Local Historic Districts

In the 1960’s Maryland enacted legislation enabling local governments to establish historic area zoning and to appoint Historic District Commissions.  The Commissions decide on standards to ensure that historic and architectural qualities of the zoned Historic District will be preserved and have the power to apply these standards in reviewing building permits for proposed new construction, alterations or demolitions in the Historic District.  Only exterior alterations are involved.  A Historic District is entirely the product of local initiative and its controls are created and administered by local citizens and governments.  Commission members include persons with special interest and training in history, architecture, preservation and urban design.  Property owners within these districts may be eligible for tax credit programs for heritage properties.

Chestertown Historic District Commission: http://townofchestertown.com/government/committees/historic-district-commission/

Betterton Historic District: call Town Office 410-348-5522

 Kent County Historic Preservation Commission was authorized in 2006 to assist property owners in preparing for application to state tax credit initiatives for heritage preservation.  Please contact the Kent County Planning Commission Office, cmartin@kentgov.org

Historic districts are areas where properties share a common history and convey a sense of that history through their architectural and geographical features.  Local designations do not necessarily correspond to Federal designations on the National Register of Historic Places.

National Register

National Register of Historic Places 

Significant historic places are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, which is the official list of the nation’s cultural resources worthy of preservation.

The Register, administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, was established to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect our historic and archaeological resources.  Nominations may be prepared by property owners or by the staff of the State Historic Preservation officer and are submitted to a State review board for approval.  For further information:
contact the Maryland Historical Trust., PKurtze@mdp.state.md.us

National Register Sites in Kent County

Kent County Planning Commission

Visit this link to view the “Planning, Housing and Zoning” page on the Kent County Government website: https://www.kentcounty.com/planning

Maryland Historical Trust

The Trust is the State’s official preservation agency.  Established in 1961, in 1970 it became an agency of the Maryland Department of Economic and Community Development.  Supported by Federal and State funds, its purposes are to advise, to educate the public and to stimulate public interest in preserving the State’s heritage.  The Trust cooperates with other State agencies and preservation groups to protect architectural and cultural resources.  It has legal jurisdiction over State and Federally assisted projects.


Kent County Heritage Trust

Once the local committee of the Maryland Historical Trust, the Kent County Heritage Trust is now an independent organization committed to preservation activities and advocacy within the county, including historic sites and heritage area identification and protection.  For information contact Cynthia Saunders at 410-810-7618.

Kent County Historic Sites Survey

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 directed each state to prepare a survey and inventory of its historic sites.  The Maryland Historical Trust, which had been created in 1961, took over this task in the State of Maryland.  The early surveys of Kent County’s inventory were conducted between 1979 and 1984, funded by the Maryland Historical Trust, the Historical Society of Kent County, the Kent County Planning Commission, and the Town of Chestertown.

In 1991, the Historical Society of Kent County continued the survey, which comprises sites from 1642-1860.  The records of the survey, known as the K-files, are available for research at the Society’s library.  This wealth of information was brought to public attention in the acclaimed book published by the Society in 1998: Historic Houses of Kent County, author Michael Owen Bourne, and editor Eugene Hall Johnstone.  The book is currently out-of-print.

How to research your househttp://www.lib.umd.edu/NTL/Houseguide/index.html

Kent County Historic Preservation Commission

Kent County Historic Preservation Commission was authorized in 2006 to assist property owners in preparing for application to state tax credit initiatives for heritage preservation.  Please contact the Kent County Planning Commission Office, cmartin@kentgov.org