nh.gov
New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources
Search This Site
 HOME
 About Us
 Programs
 Project Review & Compliance
(Section 106)
 SCRAP
 Publications
 Grants
 Consultant Lists
 News & Events
 Links
 Contact Us
 Site Map
 
 
Programs > New Hampshire Barn Survey Project - Determining Eligibility
 

Discretionary Preservation Easements

New Hamsphire Historic Agricultural Structures Advisory Committee

Determining Eligibility for RSA 79-D Discretionary Preservation Easements
For Preserving Historic Agricultural Structures

RSA 79-D:2 III: "Historic agricultural structure" means a barn or other structure, including the land necessary for the function of the building, currently or formerly used for agricultural purposes and as further defined by the advisory committee established under RSA 227-C:29.

As further defined by the Advisory Committee

"Historic" shall mean agricultural structures which are at least 75 years of age. Exceptions may be made for newer structures if they are considered to be of exceptional significance or importance. An illustrative list of "agricultural structures" which might qualify for a discretionary preservation easement is provided in Attachment 1. Local governing bodies may decide to include other related agricultural structures in accordance with local circumstances. "Barn" shall mean a building constructed to shelter livestock, equipment, feed or other farm products. It may be free-standing or connected to one or more other structures. "Land necessary for the function of the building" shall consist of the footprint of the building and of any ramps or banks which are or were needed to support the structure and its operations.

Guidelines

In deciding whether to accept a discretionary preservation easement, RSA 79-D:3 establishes that the local governing body of the municipality shall determine whether the structure provides at least one of the following public benefits:

(1) there is scenic enjoyment of the structure by the general public from a public way or from public waters; (2) it is historically important on a local, regional, state or national level, either independently or within an historic district; or (3) the structure's physical or aesthetic features contribute to the historic or cultural integrity of a property listed on or determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, State Register of Historic Places, or locally designed historic district.

In addition, the law states that, in determining whether an historic agricultural structure demonstrates the necessary public benefit, the local governing body shall have reference to guidelines adopted by the Advisory Committee. The guidelines are outlined in Attachment 2.

Guidelines and definitions adopted February 5, 2001; revised March 12, 2001, and August 26, 2002

Determining Eligibility for RSA 79-D Discretionary Preservation Easements
For Preserving Historic Agricultural Structures Attachment 1 - Illustrative List of Agricultural Structures

The following are examples of buildings and structures that might qualify for a discretionary preservation easement. It is not intended to be a complete list. Local governing bodies may decide to include other related agricultural structures in accordance with local circumstances.

barn, separate or attached
silo
milk house
sugar house
carriage house
wagon shed
ice house
stable
corn crib
poultry barn or coop
well or spring house
blacksmith shop
piggery
granary
saw mill
cider mill
creamery
farrier or harness shop
hop house
equipment or machine shed
Delco house
grist mill
woodshed
farm stand
greenhouse
tool shed
windmill house

Determining Eligibility for RSA 79-D Discretionary Preservation Easements
For Preserving Historic Agricultural Structures Attachment 2 - Guidelines to Assist in Determining "Necessary Public Benefit"

Public Interest and Benefit
Consider questions such as:

  • Is it a familiar local landmark?
  • Is it visible from a public road or from public waters? To what extent does it contribute to the scenic qualities of the community and region, thus benefiting local residents, visitors and tourism?
  • Is there interest or support for the structure's preservation?
    Examples: owner/family maintenance efforts or commitment to preservation; structure surveyed by historical society; included in town preservation plan or historic district; offers of volunteer help with physical repairs, or letter of support from local heritage commission or historical society?

Historic and Agricultural Significance
Consider the age of the structure and such questions as:

  • Does it help tell the story of agriculture in the community or region?
  • Is it a good representative of a type of barn?
  • Is it now an unusual or rare surviving type of barn or outbuilding?
  • Is it a good example of historic construction methods or materials?
  • Does it retain its historic character?
  • Is it part of a landscape or setting that retains its historic character?

Degree to Which Tax Relief will Help Preserve the Structure
Consider questions such as:

  • Use and condition of structure; owner's investment over time.
  • Plans for repair or renovation.
  • Owner's use of, plans for, preservation tools such as conservation easements, investment tax credits, or local, state or national historic register listing.

Use of the Structure
Consider questions such as:

  • Is the barn or other structure on a working farm or otherwise being used for agricultural purposes?
  • If the structure has been adapted for other use, has the historic character of the structure been maintained?

    Degree to which the Building's Preservation reinforces other Local and State Goals and Policies, such as:

  • Agricultural designations, e.g., Bicentennial Farm, Farm of Distinction, Tree Farm, New England Green Pastures.
  • Current Use (e.g., goals of maintaining the character of the state's landscape and conserving its resources).
  • Scenic and cultural byways; country roads.
  • Regional plans and local master plans.
 
  New Hamphshire Historical Resources logo
19 Pillsbury Street      Concord NH 03301-3570     preservation@dcr.nh.gov
 
NH State Seal nh.gov | privacy policy | accessibility policy
Copyright (c) State of New Hampshire, 2007