ABOUT THE HARB

The Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) is an advisory citizen group composed of volunteer professionals and residents committed to preserving historic architectural features and structures within the historic and conservation districts of Reading. The HARB exercises the functions, duties, responsibilities, and activities set forth in the City of Reading Historic and Conservation Districts Ordinance. The HARB must approve proposed exterior changes to properties or buildings within historic and conservation districts prior to completion of the work. In-kind restoration of existing features may be approved by the Preservation Officer. Each change is assessed to ensure that it will enhance or preserve the historic architecture of a property and neighborhood, as well as prevent the loss of character defining features, in accordance with the US Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings (Chapter 295), Construction Codes (Chapter 180), and by any policies or guidelines adopted by the Board or the City of Reading. Architectural changes include any new construction, demolition, additions, exterior renovations, and signage that are visible from public rights-of-way such as streets and alleys. The HARB also provides advisory assistance and resources to City staff and residents.

 

The Board is composed of 9 members, appointed by City Council; one of whom is a registered architect, one a licensed real estate broker, one a person with knowledge of the building trades, one who is either a resident of or owner of property within the Callowhill Historic District, one who is either a resident of or owner of property within the Prince Historic District, one who is either a resident of or owner of property in the Centre Park Historic District, one who is either a resident of or owner of property within the Penn's Common Historic District, one who is either a resident of or owner of property within the Heights Conservation District, and one who has knowledge of or interest in the preservation of historic buildings and districts.

 

Historic Architectural Review Boards were authorized in Pennsylvania by the “Historic District Act,” Generally Assembly #167 of 1961, amended 1963. Refer to the About the Districts section to see if your property is within one of these districts and therefore requires approval from the City of Reading HARB for any exterior alterations.

 

Meetings: They are held the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6:30 PM in the Penn Room, City Hall Meetings and Agendas
Liaison: Amy Johnson, Historic Preservation Specialist, 610-655-6414

Bill No. 33, October 25, 1978 (7 members), amended Bill No. 18, May 5, 1982 (9 members), amended Bill No. 35, October 7, 1982, amended as Bill No. 35, December 13, 1999. (11 members), amended Bill 57, August 23, 2010 to include a removal process, amended Bill 29-2015, June 22, 2015 decreasing the membership to 9.

Term:  The terms of members shall be fixed so that no more than four terms shall expire during the same calendar year.  Upon the expiration of the term of any member, a  successor shall be appointed to serve for a term of three (3) years.
Appointed by City Council 9 Members  5 Year Term
  Date Appointed Date Reappointed Term Expiration
Architect - Aaron Booth 09/28/2009 06/12/2017 06/12/2022
Callowhill - Cynthia Ann LaSota 03/9/1994 05/12/2014 05/12/2019
Centre Park - Sean Devine 02/23/2015   02/23/2020
At Large - vacant      
Real Estate Broker - vacant      
College Heights - Erin Weller - Chair 06/11/2012 07/24/2017 07/24/2022
Prince - vacant      
Penn's Commons - vacant      
Trades Professional - vacant    
 

Term: The terms of members shall be fixed so that no more than four terms shall expire during the same calendar year. Upon the expiration of the term of any member, a successor shall be appointed to serve for a term of three (3) years.