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Certificate of Appropriateness Information

Certificate of Appropriateness Application Information

The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) oversees the Certificate of Appropriateness application (COA) process, in collaboration with the City Planner. The purpose of this page is to provide general guidance about review types and processes. Detailed questions about what qualifies for a Certificate of Appropriateness application should be directed to the City Planner ( 

What projects require a Certificate of Appropriateness Application (COA)?  Proposals to change the exterior of sites and structures that are visible from a public way, located within the Historic District. 

Where do I find the COA Form? Applications are available at this link: COA Application Form. The Planning & Development Department can also provide a hard copy of the form. 

How do I submit the application?  Complete the application, then print, sign and submit the hard copy with supporting application materials to the Planning & Economic Development Department. Please keep in mind that projects which require a full Commission review should be submitted at least two weeks in advance of the Commission meeting. Please refer to the HPC's schedule.

Is there a fee for the application?  There is no fee to file and process the application. 

How are COA Applications reviewed by the City?  The Historic Preservation Commission and the City Planner review all applications per standards found in Section 230-413 of the City's ordinances. The Commission and City Planner also refer to the following resources when reviewing applications: 
Some COA  projects may qualify for a staff-level review with the City Planner. These are referred to as minor COA reviews. Examples of these projects include but are not limited to: certain signage and minor or temporary building alterations. Other projects are generally reviewed by the full Commission. When an application is submitted, the City Planner will verify whether it will be reviewed by staff or sent to the Commission.

How long does the review process take?  COA reviews generally take four weeks. Minor COA reviews with the City Planner generally take two weeks or less.

Do I have to attend a Historic Preservation Commission meeting to discuss my COA application?  COA reviews with the Historic Preservation Commission require a public hearing. The Planning & Economic Development Department will notice the meeting in the newspaper, and will send letters to the abutting property owners to inform them of the public hearing date. The applicant is required to attend the Commission meeting and discuss the proposal with the Commission. The Commission will review the proposal per the above standards. 

Questions?  Please contact the Planning & Economic Development Department at 207-282-3487.