I want to work on my historic building or my property within a local historic district. What do I do?
The following information is a simple, summarized view of the process to follow to renovate and restore your home. More details can be found on the City’s Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) website here. For reference, the OHP is a city government office and the Historic Design Review Board (HDRC) is an 11-citizen body appointed by the City Council that makes decisions on behalf of the OHP.
You will first need to determine if your property requires review; use the OHP search tool found here.
Once you have a rough sketch of your plans, the MVHA Architectural Review Committee (ARC) would like to review the plans before you apply to the City. This is not a requirement. However, there are two great reasons to start the conversation with MHVA. First, it will ensure a faster, smoother, and less expensive approval process with the HDRC. Second, it is suggested by the City as a courtesy to your neighbors. The MVHA ARC meets the second and fourth Monday of each month in the MVHA office next to the Landa Library at 5:30 pm.
Please contact Paul Kinnison, chair of the ARC to discuss the process at email@example.com or 210-852-9831.
Depending on the extent of your project, you will either need to apply for an Administrative Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) to be reviewed by the OHP or a Certificate of Appropriateness (a.k.a HDRC Application) to be reviewed by the HDRC before work can begin or city permits can be issued. Please note: interior work does not need any COA but may need a city permit. Please take a look at the quick reference guide found here to determine which form you need to submit.
If you need to submit an HDRC application, you can also take advantage of the services of the Design Review Committee (DRC). The DRC is a standing committee of the HDRC that provides informal and non-binding design consultation on an as-requested basis for applicants seeking advice on proposed development projects affecting historic resources. The DRC meets twice monthly and offers a good opportunity for early feedback on how to design projects that will comply with these guidelines—before applicants have invested significant time and money on specific plans.