How to Apply
In a historic district, all projects that result in exterior changes to buildings or their settings are required to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) or Expedited Staff Review approval from the Huntsville Historic Preservation Commission before a building permit may be issued.
Applications cost $15. COA and Expedited Staff Review requests may be submitted using the same application form. Applicants with items eligible for both Expedited Staff Review and Commission review may submit one application, selecting the relevant project items.
Application approvals are valid for 12 months. If work has not commenced by the expiration date, the permit holder may submit an Extension Request Form to Preservation staff. Staff may, at their discretion, issue a one-time renewal for a period of up to six additional months.
All required documentation must be submitted with each application; incomplete applications will be denied. Applications that do not provide documentation or required materials will be noted as incomplete and may result in delays in the Commission or Preservation staff’s review of the application and/or denial of the request. Revisions made to the applications after the submittal deadline and prior to the Commission hearing may be continued to the following month’s hearing. The Commission and staff reserve the right to require additional information if such information is necessary to understand the nature of the intended activity.
If you choose not to submit online, one copy of the application form and accompanying materials may be submitted to City Preservation Planner Katie Stamps via email or in the Planning Department, located on the second floor of 308 Fountain Circle.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) applications must be submitted by end of business on the last Monday of each month. HHPC meetings are held in the held in the City Council Chambers of the Municipal Building at 4:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month. A project representative must be present at the meeting or the request will be denied.
WHEN CERTIFICATES OF APPROPRIATENESS ARE REQUIRED
- The exterior architectural features of any existing building or structure are in any way reconstructed, restored, renovated or altered as to material, color, or structural appearance;
- An addition to an existing building or structure is constructed;
- A new building, structure or appurtenance (including walls, fences, terraces, drives, patios, pools, antennas, solar collectors and similar items) is constructed;
- The removal or demolition of any building, structure or appurtenance, excluding non-contributing detached outbuildings. Including demolition by neglect and the failure to maintain a historic property or a structure;
- The painting of originally unpainted surfaces;
- The erection or demolition or changes of any sign except for an appropriate marker identifying the name and address of an occupant or a resident, appropriate historical marker, and beautification markers subject to meeting the Zoning Ordinance.
WHEN CERTIFICATES OF APPROPRIATENESS ARE NOT REQUIRED
- Any interior work, unless it causes a change in the exterior appearance;
- Repainting the exterior using prior colors;
- Replacing the window glass when not otherwise changing the window in any way;
- Reroofing with the identical materials and color of materials; and
- Landscaping with plant materials that requires no significant change in the terrain of the property, creates no new off-site drainage, and does not remove or demolish any existing landscape features such as terraces, fences, drives, etc.).
EXPEDITED STAFF REVIEW
Expedited Staff Review applications may be submitted at any time and do not require Commission review.
Items Eligible for Expedited Staff Review:
- Exterior routine repairs
- Change paint color
- Change roof color
- Remove synthetic siding
- Alterations to rear and side fenestration (windows)
- Mechanical unit placement/screening
- Hardscape elements
- Accessibility features
- Rear decks
- Demolish non-contributing detached outbuildings