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Historic Preservation Commission approves amendments to regulations

Published on March 9, 2021

A historic home in the Five Points district

The Huntsville Historic Preservation Commission (HHPC) voted this week to amend its regulations, a move that should streamline the design review process for historic district residents.

The amendments establish a 12-month expiration date for Certificates of Appropriateness (COAs) and create an expedited review process for routine maintenance and other minor work.

HHPC members unanimously approved the amendments at their March 8 regular meeting.

“We believe these amended regulations will improve the application process and better serve our historic property owners,” said City of Huntsville Preservation Planner Katie Stamps. “Thank you to our Commission leaders and historic district organizations for helping us through this process.”

Under the amended regulations, COAs will expire 12 months after issuance. If work has not started by the expiration date, the permit holder may submit a written request for renewal to the City.

Staff may then, at their discretion, issue a one-time renewal of up to six months to the property owner. The amendment applies only to new projects and not to COAs issued prior to the HHPC vote.

LEARN MORE: Click here to see the amended regulations.

The expedited review process enables staff to quickly approve minor work, such as the removal of synthetic siding, changing of roof colors, simple repairs, hardscape elements and accessibility features like handrails. Major projects, like an addition or new construction, will require owners to present their application at a monthly HHPC meeting. Expedited review requests may be submitted on the same application form used for COAs.

“The expedited staff review was an idea we established by asking the public about things they would like to see to streamline our process,” Stamps said. “This is one of the first major regulation changes.”

Missed the public hearing? Watch below or click here to watch a replay on HSV TV.