Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)
Why do I need to apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)?
The Historic Districts Ordinance requires that the Historical Preservation Commission (HPC) issue a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) before a building located in a historic district can be erected, reconstructed, restored, demolished, or altered in any way that affects its external appearance. A COA is also required for certain changes made to the grounds and signs. Certain minor actions, which do not permanently affect the character of the property or the historic district, may not have to be reviewed by the HPC, but these actions must be approved by the HPC Secretary. Examples of minor actions include repainting, adding or changing storm windows or doors, and repairs using like materials and like designs. The HPC Secretary may impose certain conditions. You may also need to obtain other City permits such as building or sign permits.
How do I apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)?
The application is available at the links below or you may pick up an application for a COA at the Department of Community Development, second floor, City Hall, 900 Church Street. The completed form with adequate supplemental information must be submitted to the HPC's Secretary at least fifteen (15) days prior to a regularly scheduled meeting per Section 35.2-13.4 of the Zoning Ordinance. There are no application fees. It is required for COA applicants or their representatives to be present at the HPC meeting to answer any questions from the HPC members.
Not the property owner? You will also need to complete a Property Owner Authorization Form.