Planning Department

For Planning Department Inquiries, Call: 919-934-2116, ext. 1111

Historic Preservation Commission


Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) meets as needed to respond to and to review proposed development or building alterations within the Historic District.

The HPC serves the public both as a steward for the district and as a facilitator to people fortunate enough to own properties in these areas. It provides assistance to owners and tenants, helps them plan the alterations that they are considering for their properties, and guides owners through the application process necessary to implement those changes.

The HPC responsibilities include:

  • Establishing and maintaining policies and guidelines for new construction, alterations, additions, moving and demolition of historic landmarks and properties in a historic district;
  • Recommending to the City Council designation, or the removal, of historic district overlay zoning of properties; 
  • Granting requests for proposed changes within the historic district that in its determination are congruous with the special character of the district;
  • Conducting educational programs on historic districts;
  • Cooperating with state, federal, and local governments in pursuance of its responsibilities; 
  • Conducting meetings or hearings necessary to carry out these purposes;
  • Preparing annual budgets deemed necessary to carry out the work of the commission to be submitted to the Town Council; and 
  • Soliciting voluntary financial contributions from private or governmental sources for use in carrying out its purposes and supplementing any funds that are  allocated to it by the Town Council to defray its expenses and carry on its purposes herein referred to.

The commission consists of up to 7 members appointed by the Town Council for overlapping two-year terms. A majority of commission members must have demonstrated special interest, experience, or education in history, architecture, archaeology, or related fields. Also, all members of the commission must reside within the city’s corporate limits or within its extraterritorial jurisdiction, and at least one-third of the commission’s membership must either reside or own property in a Smithfield Historic District.                                                                                                                                                   

Mark Helmer is the staff contact for the Historic Preservation Commission and can be reached by telephone at (919) 934-2116 ext. 1112 or by email at

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Board Members:


Art Andrews, Vice Chair          
Mary Nell Ferguson
Jan Branch                                                                Deanna Simmons                  

Rachel Ayers                          

2 Vacant Positions

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 761, Smithfield, NC 27577
Physical Address:
350 East Market Street
Smithfield, NC 27577
Main Phone: 919-934-2116
Fax: 919-934-1134


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