COA Process
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COA Process

Certificate of Appropriateness Process

The first thing an applicant must do is determine the scope of work to be completed. This should be a detailed list of all work the applicant wishes to complete. After the scope of work is determined, the required type of approval can be determined by consulting the IHPC Policies and Procedures or by contacting the IHPC staff at 327-4406.

If the type of work being considered requires a Certificate of Appropriateness, a COA Application.pdf can then be filed with the IHPC staff. The application is a one-page form generally completed by the owner or a representative. Documentation will usually need to be submitted along with the application. Documentation will vary by project, but generally includes photos of the area where work is to be done, drawings depicting any new construction or alterations, product literature, product samples, or color samples. If you have questions about required documentation or the completion of an application, please call the IHPC office.

Types of Approval

A Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is approved in three different ways depending on the type of work proposed. The three approval types are: Commission Approval, Hearing Officer approval, and staff approval. If different portions of the proposed work fall into different approval categories, the applicant may file separate applications to allow the staff approval process to commence while waiting for hearings to occur.

Commission Approval - Monthly Public Hearing

  1. Hearings are conducted on the first Wednesday of every month at 5:30 pm. (Contact IHPC office for location.)
  2. Schedule an appointment with an Architectural Reviewer to discuss project before submitting an application.
  3. Reviewer will determine whether variances are necessary and if additional documentation will be required.
  4. Submit application with required documentation and fee (if applicable) to IHPC office.
  5. The hearing will be scheduled.
  6. Notify all property owners at least two property owners deep or 660 feet, whichever is less, at least twenty-three days before the hearing.
  7. Return notarized affidavit of notice to IHPC within three days after notices are mailed.
  8. Staff recommendation will be mailed to the applicant prior to the hearing.
  9. Attend the Commission hearing to present your case to the IHPC. The applicant or the applicant's representative must be present at the hearing for a case to be heard.
  10. IHPC may approve, deny, or continue your case to the next scheduled hearing.
  11. If the project is approved, the Certificate will be available after the IHPC Secretary signs it, typically one to two business days after the hearing.
  12. Obtain the necessary permits. (Contact Permits at 327-8700 for further information.)
  13. During construction, display the certificate where it is visible from the street.
  14. Work may proceed. Certificates expire in one year.

Hearing Officer Approval - Weekly Public Hearing

  1. Hearings are conducted each Tuesday at 12:00 noon in the IHPC office.
  2. Schedule an appointment with an Architectural Reviewer to discuss project before submitting an application.
  3. Reviewer will determine whether additional documentation will be required.
  4. Submit application with required documentation and fee (if applicable) to IHPC office.
  5. The hearing will be scheduled.
  6. Notify all property owners at least two property owners deep or 660 feet, whichever is less, at least fifteen days before the hearing.
  7. Return notarized affidavit of notice to IHPC within three days after notices are mailed.
  8. Attend the hearing. The applicant or the applicant's representative must be present at the hearing for a case to be heard.
  9. Hearing Officer may approve, deny, or continue the case.
  10. If approved, the Certificate will be available after 12:00 noon the following day.
  11. Obtain the necessary permits. (Contact Permits at 327-8700 for further information.)
  12. During construction, display the certificate where it is visible from the street.
  13. Work may proceed. Certificates expire in one year.

Staff Approval - No Public Hearing

  1. No public hearing or public notice is required.
  2. Submit application with required documentation and fee (if applicable) to IHPC office.
  3. The certificate will be issued when the staff determines that the proposed work complies with the Historic Area Plan. If proposed work is approved, the Certificate of Appropriateness will be issued, often within two to three business days.
  4. Obtain the necessary permits. (Contact Permits at 327-8700 for further information.)
  5. During construction, display the certificate where it is visible from the street.
  6. Work may proceed. Certificate expires in one year.

Helpful Hints for an Easy Approval

  • Clearly determine the scope of the project.
  • Talk with the IHPC staff early in the process.
  • Make an appointment to ensure the staff has adequate time to assist you.
  • Find out from staff if a hearing will be required.
  • Provide thorough documentation.
  • If a hearing is required, do not forget to send notices to surrounding property owners and the affidavit to the IHPC staff.
  • Obtain any necessary permits.
  • Contact IHPC staff immediately if plans change during construction. Changes can often be accommodated by staff.
  • Display Certificate of Appropriateness in a visible location along with permits.
  • An extension of the Certificate is needed if the work is not completed within one year. To avoid delays, apply for an extension before your Certificate expires.