Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District



Welcome to the home page for the Avon Hill NCD in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
On this page you will find application information as well as district news, meeting updates, and district goals and guidelines.  This page will be updated periodically by staff of the Historical Commission. If you have any questions about the district, please e-mail Charlie Sullivan at csullivan@cambridgema.gov or call the CHC office at Phone: 617/349-4684 or by TTY: 617/349-6112.

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Overview Page

The Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District contains approximately 220 properties in an area bounded by Linnaean Street, Raymond Street, Upland Road, and the zoning boundary of the BA-2 and C-2 zones along Massachusetts Avenue.

The district is regulated by the Avon Hill NCD Commission, a group of Cambridge citizens appointed by the City Manager.   Administration of district business is provided by staff members of the Cambridge Historical Commission, a department of the city government.

Types of Certificates Issued:
A Certificate of Non-Applicability will be issued for work done in kind (work which matches existing conditions exactly), interior alterations, alterations not visible from any public way, and any other work which does not require review by the neighborhood conservation district commission. These certificates are generally issued by the Historical Commission staff on-the-spot.

A Certificate of Appropriateness will be issued for reviewable alterations which the neighborhood conservation district commission deems not incongruous to the character of the property in question.

Occasionally, a Certificate of Hardship will be issued for work which is not otherwise appropriate if the Commission determines that failure to approve an application would entail a substantial hardship, financial or otherwise, and that the work would not be a significant detriment to the district.

One of these certificates is always necessary to obtain a building permit for work in a neighborhood conservation district.  All of the Commission's regulatory approvals have a life of six months. This means that the owner of the property has six months, from the date a certificate is issued, to obtain a building permit. Upon written request, the chair of the Commission may issue a six-month extension. If an extension is not issued, the owner must resubmit the Application for Certificate for the Commission's review.

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