Increasingly, counties are realizing that parts of their rural heritage are unique and important. Preserving rural historic districts can encompasses different issues from their urban counterparts. These rural areas often are very large, and while they may contain important collections of farms and associated rural structures, their property owners may not be used to design review requirements. Furthermore, some of these areas may be subject to pressures of new development from surrounding growth.
Many rural districts may also contain small hamlets or villages that need guidelines tailored to their unique character. Our office has completed several sets of rural design guidelines for both large rural districts and individual historic villages. These documents focus on analyzing the historic patterns of the villages and the different types of farmstead layouts in order to ensure that new developments respect that heritage.