How does the Board reach decisions?
The staff of the Planning and Development Department present information about the proposal, such as a location map and historic background; then they make a recommendation to the Historic Preservation Commission. The property owner may speak on behalf of the project; then other parties are allowed to speak in favor or in opposition. The Commission renders decisions on the basis of the Design Guidelines, which have been adopted by the Commission and are available from the Planning Department. In general, alterations and additions to properties in the districts are evaluated on the basis of compatibility with the special qualities of each district, not on whether the proposals are literal historical reproductions. Projects such as decks, fences, storage buildings, and even swimming pools may be approved, but the Commission may attach conditions to an approval, such as a requirement for evergreen screening of the project from the public right-of-way.

If a project is approved, a Certificate of Appropriateness is issued in the form of a letter to the property owner, with a copy sent to the Inspections Division of the Planning and Development Department. Any decision of the Commission will expire if the applicant does not obtain a building, demolition, or fence permit within one year from the date of the decision. If a project is denied, the owner may choose to revise and resubmit the project at a subsequent meeting. Adverse decisions of the Commission may be appealed to the Board of Adjustment, which reviews only certiorari (the correctness of the process). Any appeal of the Board of Adjustment's decision may be heard in the Superior Court of Guilford County.

Show All Answers

1. What is the Historic Preservation Commission?
2. What items require a Certificate Of Appropriateness?
3. How do I apply for approvals?
4. Who will be notified of the hearing?
5. How does the Board reach decisions?
6. Who do I contact for further information?