Residential Design Guidelines

Town Residential Design Guidelines

Why do we enjoy living in Hillsborough? Is it the bucolic setting, the curvilinear roads, the abundance of landscaping, the quality and diversity of the architecture? Whatever the reason may be, the town, through adoption of community-based design standards, strives to maintain this visual quality and setting. What does this mean for you? It means that the majority of design changes to your home require design approval as well as a permit from the town.

On August 9, 2004, the City Council adopted the Residential Design Guidelines to provide guidance and direction to homeowners and their architects in the preparation of building and landscaping plans. A Series of changes have been adopted over time to address evolving housing trends. 

The guidelines are separate and in addition to development standards (such as setbacks, height limits and lot coverage) and are intended to provide flexibility for designers while assuring conformance to the community's vision and goals for development. The purpose is to provide design guidance for new development which takes place in the town, including new houses, additions, landscaping, and fencing and gates. 

The guidelines offer examples, in the form of photos and sketches, to help the reader understand the basic concepts included in the booklet. The guidelines are intended to offer inspiration and potential solutions for important components of residential architecture; they are not intended to be a checklist.

A color version of the guidelines is available at the links below. Black and white printed copies may be purchased at the Planning Office in Town Hall.