Hamburg has recently started the process to get listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While most residents know this process has started, few know exactly what it entails.Members of Our Town Foundation (OTF) and the Hamburg Area Historical Society (HAHS) wanted to show people that Hamburg exhibits a lot of historical importance.

In order to demonstrate this to the town's residents, the OTF and HAHS out together a brochure speaking of the rich past Hamburg has. In doing so, they also began the process of being listed on the National Register.

On April 30 at a public meeting, Karen Arnold of Historic York, Inc., York County, the company working on the process, outlined what was happening in more detail for interested residents.

The National Register of Historic Places is an official list of historic properties recognized by the Federal Government as worthy of preservation for their significance in American History.

Hamburg's historic district, located primarily along Fourth and Third streets, has been nominated to be added to the National Register. The boundaries of the district are Windsor and South Second streets, Quince and Primrose Alley and Mill Creek.

"We're listing the Hamburg Historic District on architecture alone," said Arnold.

Arnold and others looked at every building in the district, carefully studying them to see if they could be considered historic. After doing so, they discovered 478 of the 550 buildings surveyed had historical significance. After the buildings were inspected, the process of being listed on the National Register began.

There are several important aspects of this process that citizens should be aware of, though. National Register listings require no changes to zoning status or additional regulations, and tax assessments will not be effected.

"For a person who owns a house, nothing will change for you," explained Arnold.

There are several benefits of being listed on the National Register. There will be eligibility for Federal or State grant programs and commercial and residential tax credit programs pending that would be available to property owners.

Arnold also noted that being listed would not effect new business wanting to locate in the Hamburg community.

"This does not stop economic development at all," she explained.

The timeline for the listing process is a lengthy and unpredictable one, but if all goes as planned, Hamburg can expect a ruling sometime around October.

It was also noted that owners of private properties nominated on the National Register have an opportunity to concur with or object to listing. If 51 percent of people object to the listing, then the process will halt.

Contact Tony Kozuch at tkozuch@berksmontnews.com.

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