Historic District Information
Stoneleigh Becomes a National Register Historic District
Adapted from an article by David Wasmund
Catonsville National Register Historic District
The National Park Service approved listing Stoneleigh on the National Register of Historic Places on November 8, 2003. For the complete nomination, please refer to Historic Towson, Inc. website: historictowson.org or ask the community association president for a hard copy. The hard copy is also at the information desk of the Towson Branch of the Library.
This designation has no effect on any building within the historic district, unless you choose to apply for tax credits for rehabilitation work. The designation adds no new county, state or federal regulations on what you can or cannot do to your property (of course, all existing county zoning and building regulations still apply to all buildings within the district). However, when we were nominated to be a historic district, Stoneleigh was given a Maryland historic inventory number, which: 1) Baltimore County interprets as possibly requiring a zoning hearing before issuance of a razing permit for your house; and 2) requires Maryland to review any federally-funded or regulated action for possible negative impact on the Maryland historic inventory. For all practical purposes, you can do whatever you want to your house or outbuilding as if the historic designation were not present. The details below are what buildings are included in the district, which ones are eligible to receive tax credits and general guidelines for obtaining those credits.
Only buildings contributing to the historic basis of the district are eligible for tax credits. Notice that a number of outbuildings (detached garages) are contributing and thus eligible to receive tax credits for approved work. Contributing structures terminate at 1954. Buildings newer than this will come in at a later date as an addition to the nomination. Once the houses built in the early 1960’s are eligible, we will write the additional nomination for all houses that are now considered non-contributing.
A Maryland income credit of 20% is available for renovations to contributing buildings in the Stoneleigh Historic District. These renovations must meet national standards for historic structures and must be approved by the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT), the state agency that implements the program in Maryland. An overview of what renovations and materials are typically eligible for tax credits follows, but it is strongly recommended by the MHT that the plans be submitted for approval before the work begins. The application forms, as well as information regarding the tax credit program, can be seen or downloaded from the MHT website: www.marylandhistoricaltrust.net or from the NPS website: www.nps.gov .
The NPS website also provides the Secretary of the Interior’s “Standards for Rehabilitation. You can speak to Dan Sams at 410-514-7620 or
email or Colin Ingraham at 410-514-7671 or
email if you need to discuss your renovation questions.
An additional 20% federal income tax credit is available for the same renovations done to income producing properties within a National Register Historic District. In Stoneleigh, this would be for rental properties, the Stoneleigh Shopping Center and First and St. Stephen’s Church. Maryland’s preservation tax credit is not permanent and can be altered or repealed by the Maryland General Assembly and the Governor.
Guidelines for Making Renovation Projects Eligible for Tax Credits
- The building must be a contributing building within the Stoneleigh Historic District.
- The project must be completed within a 24-month period.
- The project must exceed $5,000 in cost, for owner occupied residential renovations (for the 20% state income tax credit); or must exceed the greater of the adjusted cost basis of the structure or $5,000, whichever is greater for income producing properties (for the 20% federal income tax credit). Income producing properties are eligible for both tax credits.
- Architectural, engineering and consulting fees paid as part of the renovation are eligible for tax credits, but not financing charges or permit fees. Expenses must be chargeable to a capital account.
- MHT cannot approve the replacement of any historic material or finish if it can be rehabilitated. This includes windows. Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature shall match the old in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities and, where possible, materials; i.e. wooden replacement windows, with the same number of lites; replacement siding; window and door trim; porches; stairs; roofs; gutters and downspouts; painting. Bump outs or new construction, including decks may be approved if they meet Standards 9 and 10. MHT cannot approve replacement anything if the historic material can be salvaged. Replacement of a slate roof with other materials including dimensional shingles will not be eligible for tax credits. Slate must be repaired or replaced with slate. Please note that all portions of a rehabilitation must meet the Standards for the application to be approved. You may not subtract items that do not meet the Standards.
- Landscaping is generally not eligible for tax credits- this includes driveways, parking pads, fences, walls, walks, patios, decks and plantings, unless they can be shown to have been part of a significant historical landscape feature.
- Interior renovations, as long as they do not negatively impact historic elements (for example, moving staircases or major interior walls), are eligible for tax credits. This includes wiring, pipes, heating, air conditioning, basements, closets, kitchens and baths (including appliances, when part of the renovation package) and structural elements (plaster, molding, wainscoting, and paint).
- Exterior renovations done on non-original materials or additions present when the historic district was formed (asbestos siding put over German lap siding in the 1950s, or an addition from the 1960s) may be eligible for tax credits; all interior renovations to a contributing building (e.g., the inside of a non original addition) are eligible. All portions of a contributing building are eligible for tax credits, even later additions.
- Work completed within the last year or so before the historic district was designated may be eligible for tax credits, if it meets the standards for rehabilitation and is sufficiently well documented, with both before and after photographs, to allow the MHT to assess adherence to the standards. The work must have been completed in 2003 or later to be eligible.
Other Sites of Interest:
Should you decide to apply for the tax credits, please keep Historic Towson informed. Email.