Board Structure:

In June 2002, the Rockland County Legislature confirmed the County Executive's appointments of the original members of the Rockland County Historic Preservation Board. The local law, under which the board was established, requires that all of the board members have a demonstrated interest, competence or knowledge of historic preservation, and that there be representation on the board from each of the five townships in Rockland County. The local law also requires that individual members meet certain specific qualifications to the extent that such persons are available in the county. As examples, the board is to include an architect, an architectural historian and an archeologist, if possible.

Meetings:

The Rockland County Historic Preservation Board holds regular meetings on the third Monday of each month at 3:30 pm at the Rockland County Department of Planning, Building T, Robert Yeager Health Center, Pomona, NY 10970.  The Board does not meet in August or December.  Please call the Planning Department at (845) 364-3434 to confirm that a meeting will be held before planning to attend.  

Board Members:

Members of the Rockland County Historic Preservation Board and the specifications of the local law for each position on the board are listed below:

Officers:

   
Craig Long, Chair,
County Historian
Peter Scheibner, Vice-Chair,
County Archivist

Mary Cardenas, Secretary,
Public at Large

Staff:

   
Linda Grant,
Assistant County Attorney

Jennifer Hasan,
County Executive's Office
Eileen Miller,
County Public Transportation Department

Members:

   
Steve Cobb,
Public at Large
(Vacant)
Architectural Historian Representative

Claudia Cooney,
Archeology Representative
Alice Gerard,
Public at Large
Arthur Gunther,
Public at Large 
Marianne Leese,
Rockland County Historical Society

(Vacant)
County Tourism Director

Winston Perry, Jr.,
Architect Representative
Charles (Skip) Vezzetti,
County Highway Superintendent


   
Responsibilities:

The role of the Rockland County Historic Preservation Board is advisory to the County Executive, County Legislature, Commissioner of Planning, other county agencies, and towns and villages. The board also provides advice and guidance to property owners and government agencies concerning historic preservation issues; recommends designation of properties and historically sensitive areas as worthy of preservation; and participates in and supports the nomination of worthy properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Another role of the Board is to foster the development of model regulations to protect historic resources and support appropriate historic district designation and other means of preserving historically sensitive areas.

Certified Local Government:

On July 3, 2002, the National Park Service concurred with the recommendation of the New York State Historic Preservation Office and accepted the Rockland County application to become a Certified Local Government (CLG). Pursuant to this action, Rockland County became a participant in the Certified Local Government Program, a program that was created by the 1980 amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act. Rockland is the first county in New York State to become a CLG. The CLG program includes grants and technical assistance from the State Historic Preservation Office to support local historic preservation efforts. In order to participate, a local government is required to adopt a local law that meets certain standards and to establish a qualified preservation board.

Local Law:

The Rockland County Legislature adopted a law that met these standards on March 19, 2002. In developing the law, new ground had to be broken. Traditionally, a local historic preservation board has land use regulatory powers and the national CLG program is largely tailored to such local programs. However, in New York State and in other states with township systems, zoning and other land use control powers over unincorporated areas reside with township governments rather than with county governments. Therefore, instead of requiring that the county CLG have the power to approve or disapprove of demolitions and new construction affecting designated historic properties, as is the case for cities, towns and villages, the New York State guidelines make special requirements for county CLGs. The state guidelines specify that county CLGs must at least have the power to review and comment upon all county undertakings that might affect historic properties and to review and report to the pertinent county agency or municipality whenever the county is called upon to formulate planning advice concerning actions that may affect historic properties.

Rockland County is the first county to fashion a law to meet both the New York State and national CLG guidelines. The Rockland County historic preservation law has a focus appropriate to the supportive and advisory role of a county in New York State. As Rockland County develops its unique historic preservation program, new ground will continue to be broken. Inquiries by the national CLG coordinator to all of the CLGs in the United States indicate that there may only be one other county CLG in existence among the states with township systems. It, therefore, appears that Rockland County is charting new territory even beyond the boundaries of the State of New York.

The main features of the Rockland County historic preservation law are the powers and duties of the Rockland County Historic Preservation Board and the requirements for board membership. The role of the Rockland County Historic Preservation Board is advisory to the County Executive, County Legislature, Commissioner of Planning, other county agencies, and towns and villages. As required by the state guidelines, in addition to the county-specific requirements discussed above, the county local law requires that the county historic preservation board will:

  • Provide advice and guidance to property owners and government agencies concerning historic preservation issues;
  • Recommend designation of properties and historically sensitive areas as worthy of preservation; and
  • Participate in and support the nomination of worthy properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places;

Contact:

Further information about the Rockland County historic preservation program and the Rockland County Historic Preservation Board is available by contacting the Rockland County Planning Department at (845) 364-3434.