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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find out if my property is in a Historic District?

You can use the City's Historic Districts map.

Does Historical Architectural Review Board ALWAYS need to review work in Historic Districts?

No. There are three different levels of review for projects located within one of the City’s historic districts. Some projects, like routine maintenance require no review, other minor changes may only require staff review but substantive changes will likely require review by the HARB. In general, if you are considering alterations, including design, material, pattern or arrangement, visible from the street HARB review will be required. For specific information please review the Historic District Guidelines.

When reviewing cases, does HARB take into consideration the potential cost of the proposed improvements?

In general cost is not a factor the HARB considers. However, the HARB has developed a list of alternate materials for certain types of projects that can save on costs.

How do I know if I need to apply for a Certificate of Compliance?

Calling and speaking with staff at the City is the best way to start any project and the easiest way to find out what level or review, if any, your project will require. You can also consult pages 8-9 of the design guidelines.

How long will it take to get a Certificate of Compliance?

Depending on the project scope, the level of review required, and how complete the application is, timing can vary. However, a decision is required to be issued within 75 days.

How does the review process work?

You can use the HARB Review Flowchart to see how your application will be reviewed.

Is it hard to get HARB approval?

The Board wants to make sure that any alterations do not permanently alter or detrimentally impact the historic fabric of the property. When reviewing a case, the Board considers the goals the property owner is trying to accomplish and the unique circumstances of each case. Many times, the Board has been able to suggest more cost efficient and historically appropriate treatments. In general, most applications are approved after some adjustments.

Do I need to bring anything to a HARB meeting?

Staff will provide the HARB with all your application materials including, drawings, material samples and photos.

Do I need to have my design professional attend the HARB meeting?

While this isn’t required, we highly recommend it. Having a professional available means any questions or concerns can be addressed at the meeting and prevent unnecessary delays.

Does HARB regulate color?

The HARB only regulates color when it is integral to the product such as shingles or siding. Paint color is not regulated but the HARB is happy to provide appropriate suggestions.

Can I paint a building without HARB review?

That depends. Painting is a critical part of routine maintenance and is often a cost-effective way to enhance your property value. If your property is already painted, there is no need for an approval. However, painting brick or other masonry may not be appropriate and can often cause damage so a COA will need to be submitted. Remember lead-based paint may be present and can cause severe health problems if not properly abated. Always contact a professional prior to disturbing paint.

Is there a list of contractors and trades people that the public has access to?

The HARB does not maintain a list. We recommend checking in with preservation organizations and checking in with neighbors.

What do I need to install a satellite dish?