Design Review Guidelines Update


The City of High Point's Historic District Design Review Guidelines are in the process of being updated in a joint effort between the City of High Point, the Historic Preservation Commission and members of the community with an interest in preserving the city's historic properties.

The High Point Historic Preservation Commission has identified the need to update the Design Review Guidelines, which have not been significantly revised since adoption in 1992. A redesigned and more comprehensive document is needed that is more user-friendly, and reflective of current expectations of the property owners in our three local historic districts, the design community and Commission members.

The City, through its Historic Preservation Commission, received a 2016 federal Historic Preservation Fund grant, awarded and administered by the State Historic Preservation Office of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History. The grant is being used to partially offset the cost of updating the Design Review Guidelines.

What are design guidelines?

Design review guidelines provide a framework from which recommendations may be offered about the appropriateness of exterior treatments to homes located within a historic district. Through such guidelines, the Historic Preservation Commission, homeowners and staff are supplied with minimum standards for making decisions when reviewing applications for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA). An application for a COA must be submitted and approved prior to conducting any exterior work, other than ordinary maintenance.

The Process & Timeline

The process of updating the Design Review Guidelines is scheduled to be completed by August 2017. At that point, the City will have a fully revised document in a digital format. A consultant team, consisting of Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll, of Ramsey Leimenstoll, Architect, and Heather Wagner Slane, of hmw Preservation, were selected to complete the new design review guidelines.

There will be several opportunities for the community to provide feedback throughout the process. The initial public meeting on the project was held on February 8, 2017 at the High Point Library. A Design Review Guidelines Task Force has also met monthly with the consultant team to provide feedback and direction on the Design Review Guidelines.

A completed draft of the updated Design Review Guidelines was presented at a community meeting on June 15, 2017 at the Roy B. Culler, Jr. Senior Center. This meeting offered residents of the city's three historic districts, Johnson Street, Sherrod Park, West High Avenue, as well as other members of the community, an opportunity to view the completed draft (available to view or download below) of the updated Design Review Guidelines. The meeting also provided an opportunity to learn more about the update process, ask questions and share concerns. Community involvement is essential in ensuring that the new design review guidelines are tailored to the specific needs of the City of High Point.

    The completed update to the High Point Design Review Guidelines will be on the agenda for adoption by the Historic Preservation Commission at its regular meeting on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in the large conference room at the Parks and Recreation Administrative Office, located at 136 Northpoint Avenue, due to the ongoing renovations of the City Council Chamber.

    The Design Review Guidelines, Final Draft (PDF) is now available for review. A link to the final draft is available at the bottom of this page. Questions or comments may be directed to Dave Fencl or Bob Robbins in the Planning and Development Department at 336-883-3328, or via e-mail at or