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State College Borough Council Approves HARB

A house in the Holmes-Foster Historic District, which will be under the HARB.

After months of public meetings and workshops, State College will have a Historical and Architectural Review Board, or HARB.

State College Borough Council members voted six to one in favor of a HARB Monday night.

More than one-thousand houses in the Holmes-Foster, Highlands and College Heights historical districts will be subject to the review board.

The State College HARB will recommend to the borough council whether to approve or deny property renovations and alterations.

Borough Council member David Brown said a HARB would not have negative effects on housing prices or quality of life. He said developers, contractors and landlords are more to blame for housing issues.

“Let’s face the reality that this whole effort is going to improve what we have. So I’m gonna vote for it,” he said.

Chuck Seighman just bought a house in College Heights. He’s against a HARB because he thinks the regulations will hurt property values and restrict innovation and creativity in the housing market.

“Don’t put restrictions on future caretakers or future stewards of this community," he said. "Let the future generations handle it."

The ordinance will likely go into effect in spring 2018 because the state must certify it. 

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