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Certificate of Appropriateness

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Certificates of Appropriateness (COA) are required prior to most exterior alterations within the Historic Preservation Overlay District (HPO).  Proposed projects are reviewed and approved to ensure that the planned changes are consistent with the Historic District Design Guidelines

COA applications are reviewed by the HZC.  These include any new construction, additions, relocation, demolition (full or partial), signs, awnings, fences or walls, window replacements, alterations/repair of a building that requires a building permit, siding (not routine maintenance), and roofing (not routine maintenance).

Administrative COA applications are reviewed approved administratively by the staff.  These include signs, rear yard fencing, awning installation and replacement, HVAC mechanical installation and related screening.

Step 1: Preliminary Meeting (Optional)

A preliminary meeting with staff prior to the application submittal is not required, but is helpful for many applicants.  The staff will assist in determining whether the application type is a COA or an Administrative COA. To set up a meeting, contact the Preservation Planner in the Department of Planning and Sustainability.

Step 2: Design Review Committee (DRC) Discussion (Optional)

To be placed on a DRC agenda, the applicant must notify the staff by the staff notification deadline on the HZC and DRC Schedule.  The applicant presents their preliminary project concept, which may include photographs of the site, inspirational images, conceptual sketches, or similar information.

Step 3: Certificate of Appropriateness Application Submittal

The COA application must be submitted according to the HZC and DRC Schedule through IDT.  Nine hard copies are also required.  For the list of submittal requirements, see the Certificate of Appropriateness Checklist.

An Administrative COA application is submitted on-line through IDT, but it may be submitted anytime and is not defined by the HZC and DRC Schedule.  For the list of submittal requirements, see the Administrative Certificate of Appropriateness Checklist.

Step 4: Staff Review

For COAs, the staff reviews the application, prepares a staff report, and makes a recommendation to the HZC. When the staff report is complete, it is posted here.  For Administrative COAs, the staff reviews the proposal and determines whether to issue an Administrative COA.

Step 5: HZC or Administrative Final Action

The HZC reviews COAs and is the approving body.  The staff reviews Administrative COAs and is the approving body.

Step 6: Subsequent Applications (If Applicable)

When the COA or Administrative COA is granted, then the applicant may proceed with any subsequent applications or permits.  The approved COAs or Administrative COAs must be included with any subsequent application for a site plan, building permit, or sign permit.