Certificate of Appropriateness Process for Historic Districts and Historic Landmarks
Definition and Purpose
A Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is a document approving work on local landmarks or properties in historic districts based on consistency with applicable design guidelines or standards. A Certificate of Appropriateness is granted by the Historic Landmark Preservation Commission for exterior alterations, which include any construction or change to the exterior of a building, object, site, or structure designated as a landmark or located in a historic district. Alteration shall include but not be limited to, exterior architectural features including the kind, color, and basic texture of all exterior building materials (please note: this includes any change to existing exterior paint color), and such features as windows, window frames, roofing materials, lights, signs, shutters, fences, railings, porches, balconies, swings, or other ornamentation.
Conditions for Approval
The Commission’s decision shall be based upon the following principles:
- Properties which contribute to the character of the historic district shall be retained, with their historic features altered as little as possible;
- Any alteration of existing historic landmark properties shall be compatible with its historic character. Any alteration of existing properties within a historic district shall be compatible with its historic character as well as with the surrounding district; and
- New construction shall be compatible with the district in which it is located.
Application Procedures and Review Requirements
Historic Landmark Preservation Commission meetings are scheduled for the fourth Tuesday of each month at 12:00 noon in the Second Floor Conference Room at Texarkana, Texas City Hall located at 220 Texas Boulevard. Meetings are subject to change or cancellation depending on agenda items or scheduled holidays. Please contact the Department of Planning and Community Development at 903-798-3934 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm meeting dates. Special meetings are called when a Certificate of Appropriateness application is received, and a meeting will not occur within 30 days.
(Please note that incomplete or applications not in compliance with any ordinance or building codes shall be returned to the applicant for completion and compliance. This will delay your application being heard by the Commission.)
- A completed Certificate of Appropriateness Application must be submitted to the Department of Planning and Community Development at least 18 days prior to the Commission’s scheduled meeting to be placed on that agenda. The application must include:
- Signature of property owner(s) of subject property;
- Complete legal description of subject property;
- Drawings on 8 ½ X 11 or 11 X 17 paper, drawn to scale, and showing the size and shape of the property, location of existing and proposed buildings, streets, easements, access points, fences, as well as parking and landscape areas. The scale should be large enough to be clearly legible;
- Two (2) copies of color photographs of the subject property;
- Materials and color samples of proposed work.
- Notice of Application of Appropriateness shall be posted at the project site for a minimum of fourteen (14) days so that it is visible from the public right-of-way and shall include contact information and meeting date and time.
- At the Public Hearing, the Commission shall investigate and approve or disapprove an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness by a majority vote.
- A written report regarding the decision shall be prepared by the Director of Planning, Historic Preservation Officer, or designee within five (5) days after the public hearing.
In-Kind Certificate of Appropriateness
When the scope of work does not change the structure or property in any way, an In-Kind Certificate of Appropriateness may be appropriate. Examples of In-Kind may be repainting using an approved color palette for the subject architecture, replacing material with exact same product, etc. The decision on whether the work should be considered In-Kind is made by the Historic Preservation Officer.