So what is the Bluffton’s Historic Preservation Commission?
Historic preservation is an endeavor that seeks to preserve, conserve and protect buildings, objects, landscapes or other artifacts of historical significance. The Historic Preservation Commission of Bluffton has the functions, duties, and powers of a board of architectural review provided for in South Carolina state law. The Commission holds meetings at 6 p.m. on the 1st Wednesday of every month. The meetings take place at Bluffton’s Town Hall at 20 Bridge Street.
Bluffton’s Historic Preservation Commission duties consist of:
- Reviewing and providing recommendations to the Planning Commission for properties to be added to the Old Town Bluffton Historic District
- Reviewing and recommending action on, or approving, approving with conditions, or denying, applications in accordance with Article 3, Application Process of this Ordinance
- Establishing and maintaining a system for the survey and inventory of historic properties within the Town of Bluffton
- Reviewing and recommending to Town Council structure removal
- Reviewing and providing recommendations on all proposed National Register nominations to Town Council for any structure within its jurisdiction
- Such other responsibilities and powers granted explicitly by South Carolina state law, this Ordinance, or delegated by Town Council
(UDO Section 2.2.6.E.)
Bluffton’s Historic Preservation Commission members are:
- Bruce Trimbur – Chair – Old Town Resident, Freeholder or Business Owner
- Mary Vaux Bell – Old Town Resident, Freeholder or Business Owner
- Carletha Frazier – At-Large
- Josh Simpson – Old Town Resident, Freeholder or Business Owner
- Jesse Solomon – Vice Chair – Old Town Resident, Freeholder or Business Owner – Technical Seat
- Kerri Schmelter – Old Town Resident, Freeholder or Business Owner – Technical Seat
- Evan Goodwin – Old Town Resident, Freeholder or Business Owner – Technical Seat
Helping you to researching your property.
Copies of the 1996 and 2008 Statewide Surveys of Historic Properties and The National Register of Historic Places Nomination are available for viewing in the Growth Management Department. For additional information on historic properties in Bluffton, please contact the Historic Bluffton Foundation located within the Heyward House Welcome Center at 70 Boundary Street and inquire about the Caldwell Archives.
Sometimes small projects may be reviewed by the Town staff through a Site Feature Permit. This type of work includes:
- Exterior non-structural work of a minor nature that includes modifications or renovations to an existing building or structure. Such work is discouraged on the principle façade, as it is the intent of this section to preserve the outward appearance of the building or structure. Examples of allowable work include adding screens or balusters to and existing porch, new decks without a roof covering, and improvements made for ADA accessibility.
- Garden Structures
- Minor exterior modifications that do not alter the exterior architectural character
- Modifications or improvements to site elements such as changes to parking lots, sidewalks, landscaping, and lighting
- Ordinary maintenance and repair of any of the existing features of a structure without involving a change in design or outward appearance.
Historic preservation is an important way for us to transmit our understanding of the past to future generations. Bluffton’s history has many facets, and historic preservation helps tell these stories. Bluffton’s Historic Preservation Commission’s efforts to protect and maintain buildings and spaces of historic value do just that.