Certificate of Appropriateness

Certificates of Appropriateness (COA) are required prior to most exterior alterations within the Historic District Overlay.  Proposed projects are reviewed and approved to ensure that the planned changes are consistent with the Design Standards set forth in the Zoning Ordinance.  Applications are reviewed by the Historic Zoning Commission.  These include any new construction, additions, relocation, demolitions (full or partial, signs, awnings, fences or walls, window replacements, and alterations/repair of a building that requires a building permit (routine maintenance of siding or roofing is excluded).

Step 1 (Optional) Preliminary Meeting

A preliminary meeting with staff prior to the application submittal is not required but is helpful for many applicants. Staff will assist in determining whether the application falls under the review of the Historic Zoning Commission.  To set up a meeting contact the Planning Department at 615.776.6704.

Step 2 Application Submittal 
The COA Application must be submitted according to the submittal schedule.  For a list of requirements see the Certificate of Appropriateness Checklist.

Step 3 Staff Review
For COA's, Staff reviews the application, prepares a staff report, and make a recommendation to the Historic Zoning Commission.  Comments are provided to the applicant generally two weeks prior to the meeting to allow adequate time to address any issues that may arise. 

Step 4 Historic Zoning Commission Final Action
The Historic Zoning Commission will review the application and is the final approving body for Certificates of Appropriateness.   

Step 5 Moving Forward
Once the COA is granted, the applicant may proceed forward.  The approved COA should be included with any subsequent application for a site plan, building permit or sign permit.