What is the difference between the National Register Historic District and the local Historic Zone (H-1)?
The National Register Historic District designation is awarded by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Although this status is very prestigious, it comes with no special protections.

The local historic district zone (H-1) is a special zoning category contained in the local zoning ordinance. Once designated, a Historic Zoning Commission is created to maintain the beauty and integrity of the zone. The commission is a city board made up of preservation specialists, historians, architects and ordinary citizens.

Before anyone can demolish, or make exterior modifications to a home or building within a local historic zone (H-1), the applicant must apply to the Historic Zoning Commission for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA). The commission will assess the proposed change for compliance with the standards established in the zone's guidelines for alterations, demolitions, and removals. Emphasis is placed on preserving street facades of historic structures.

Standards are generally relaxed for additions and major changes proposed for the rear of buildings. The COA requirement applies not only to homeowners, but to businesses and government entities in the H-1 zone as well.

Show All Answers

1. What is the difference between the National Register Historic District and the local Historic Zone (H-1)?
2. If my house were included in the Historic Zone (H-1), would I be required to restore it to its original historic appearance?
3. Would I need a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) to remodel my kitchen or bathroom?
4. Would I need a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) if I wanted to paint my house?
5. Would I have to get a COA to replace damaged clapboard or re-side the whole house with vinyl siding?
6. I want to build a substantial addition to my house. If it were located in the historic zone (H-1), would I have to apply for a COA and, if so, could it be denied?
7. My house is not located within the proposed historic zone (H-1). How will the creation of the H-1 zone benefit me?
8. If a historic zone (H-1) is created, but subsequently proves to be unsatisfactory to most of the property owners inside it, can it be undone?
9. Are there tax benefits from being located within a historic district or zone?
10. Are there other advantages to being in a historic district?
11. Who is on the Historic Zoning Commission?
12. What are some activities that would and would not require a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)?