Certificate Of Appropriateness

Certificate Of Appropriateness Application Form

The Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) application is one-page, single-sided form. This application is required for projects which alter locally designated landmarks and properties located in locally designated historic districts.  The COA application should be used to describe the existing conditions of a property and any work being proposed. In those instances where the proposed work is exempt from a Building Permit, a COA application is still required.  The COA application is available for printing below.

COA Application Form

COA Submittal List

Demolition Cases Sheet


Print the application, complete the form and submit it along with any supporting plans, photographs or other documentation to the Historic Conservation Office.  Please be advised that as of January 1, 2013, new review fees apply for COA applications for minor alterations (generally reviewed by staff) and major alterations (those requiring Historic Conservation Board review).  All fees are due with application submission.

                             The fees are as follows:

                             Minor alteration reviews approved by staff: $50.00

                             Major alteration review by the Historic Conservation Board: $500.00


About The COA Process

A Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is issued by the Historic Conservation Office to approve work to local landmarks or properties located within local historic districts.

The Historic Conservation Office generally reviews only exterior work, demolition, new construction and site improvements.

However, select properties, including City Hall, Cuvier Press Club, Music Hall, Union Terminal and St. Francis de Sales Church and Rectory, also have significant interiors that are subject to review.

A COA is issued either as part of a Building Permit or as a separate document depending on the type of work. A Building Permit is required for major repairs, alterations, new buildings and additions, most excavation, new fill, signs and parking areas, and it is issued by the Department of Buildings & Inspections. A COA is also required if a property is a designated Local Landmark or is located in a Local Historic District, and it is issued by the Historic Conservation Office.

If a Building Permit is required for the work, the permit application will automatically be referred to the Historic Conservation Office for review. No additional application form is required.

Minor repairs and ordinary maintenance work typically do not require a Building Permit, and select construction work and repairs for one-, two- and three-family dwellings are exempt from some permit requirements.  Work on the interior of the building does not require a COA application if the interior work has no impact on the exterior of the building.

If work is exempt from a Building Permit, it still requires a COA. In these instances, a separate COA Application Form will need to be filled out and submitted to the Historic Conservation Office.

Each historic district or landmark has its own set of conservation guidelines, which are used to evaluate proposed work. These guidelines are intended to protect the character of an individual building and site as well as the surrounding historic district. The Historic Conservation Office staff can provide technical assistance on a project and advice on the compliance of a project with the guidelines. Staff can also advise an applicant on whether the HCB must review the work and give a preliminary indication of how it will respond to a given application.

Applicants are encouraged to consult with the Historic Conservation Office staff during the planning stages of a project, prior to formal application for a Building Permit or a COA.