The Historic Landmark Commission (HLC) reviews proposed exterior and site changes to City Historic Landmarks and properties in
Local Historic Districts to assist owners in retaining the character-defining architectural features of important historic sites and districts.
An approved Certificate of Appropriateness from the HLC is required in advance of performing all non-routine exterior and site work,
including installation of signage. Your building permit will not be released without an approved Certificate of Appropriateness review
by the City HPO or the HLC.
A Certificate of Appropriateness is required for all non-routine exterior work, including alterations to historic materials or the visual
appearance of a site or building façade. These include additions to existing buildings, construction of new buildings, re-painting of
Landmarks with new colors, changes in roof color or materials, major landscape work including pools, and changes in sidewalks and
driveways. HLC review is usually not required for ordinary maintenance work such as re-painting with existing colors and performing
routine repairs using like materials. Please check with the City HPO if you are uncertain whether a historic review is required.
Submit your building permit application for zoning review first, and provide a copy of the reviewed and stamped application and site
plan to the City HPO prior to review by the HLC to ensure that your plans conform to all applicable zoning regulations. If a modifica-
tion is required from the Residential Design and Compatibility Commission or Board of Adjustments, that approval must be
obtained prior to review by the HLC. This form does not substitute for other required permit review applications.
The City HPO may approve certain minor projects without a review by the HLC. Minor projects include the construction of one-story
rear additions of less than 600 square feet, two-story additions not visible from the street, and pools, decks, fences, back porch enclo-
sures or other minor features
Submittal Requirements:
_____1. One set of dimensioned building plans, with the scale indicated on each sheet, including elevations, floor plan, site plan or
layout, and a roof plan. Plans must indicate all proposed exterior and site changes (additions, alterations, new construc-
tion, or demolition). For changes and additions, the plan set must show existing and proposed conditions. Mechanical
and electrical plans are not necessary.
a. Elevation sheets must specify all exterior building materials and finishes to be used, i.e., siding, roofing, win-
dows, doors, fences, etc.
b. For review purposes electronic submittal of plans in PDF format is preferred. If hard copies are submitted origi-
nal plans should be no larger than 11” x 17” and be of a good, reproducible quality. If you require a full-size set,
these will be stamped for approval after review by the City HPO or HLC.
c. Material samples, specifications or manufacturer information may be requested by staff.
_____2. Color photographs of the structure and site. Include overall elevation views and close-ups of all affected areas being mod-
ified. Digital images submitted electronically are preferred
Submittal Process:
1. Apply for a city building, demolition, and/or relocation permit and obtain zoning compliance approval from City Zoning Review
2. Complete the application for a Certificate of Appropriateness for a City Landmark or Local Historic District with all required infor-
mation, plans, and photographs, and review fee, payable by check to the City of Austin.
3. Submit all application materials to the City HPO per the submittal deadline schedule available on the HPO web site or at the HPO
Preliminary Review by Certificate of Appropriateness Committee: The Certificate of Appropriateness Committee is made up of
three members of the HLC. Applicants may have their projects reviewed by this Committee prior to submitting for final review by the
HLC. The Committee provides informal review of projects, may suggest revisions to plans and specifications to meet standards, and
makes recommendations to the full HLC regarding applications.
Historic Landmark Commission Meetings: The HLC generally meets on the fourth Monday of every month at 7:00 p.m., unless
otherwise announced. Applicants or their agent are advised to attend the meeting to present information to the Commission and to
answer any questions the Commission may have regarding the project. Failure to attend a Commission meeting may result in a post-
ponement or denial of your application.
Reviewed plans: Once reviewed by the HLC, the HPO staff will provide stamped copies of the reviewed plans to the applicant within
10 days after the meeting, unless further information is required by the Commission for release of the permit. No permit will be re-
leased until the required review by the City HPO or the HLC is complete, and no work may commence until the applicant obtains nec-
essary permit(s).
Fees: All applications for review must be accompanied with the appropriate review fee per the City’s permit fee schedule. If the ap pli-
cation requires review by the Historic Landmark Commission an additional notification fee must be paid as well.
Application for Certificate of Appropriateness
for a City Landmark or Local Historic District
Adopted December 2012
The following guidelines, based upon the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Rehabilitation of Historic Proper-
ties, are used to review projects in the National Register Historic Districts:
The distinguishing original qualities or character of a property and its environment shall not be destroyed. Removal
or alteration of any historic material or distinctive architectural features should be avoided.
All properties shall be recognized as products of their own time. Alterations which have no historical basis and
which seek to create an earlier appearance shall be discouraged.
Changes which have taken place in the course of time may have acquired significance in their own right, and shall
be recognized and respected.
Distinctive stylistic features or examples of skilled craftsmanship which characterize a property shall be treated with
Deteriorated architectural features shall be repaired rather than replaced whenever possible. In the event replace-
ment is necessary, the new material should match the material being replaced in composition, design, color, texture,
and other visual qualities. Repair or replacement of missing architectural features should be based on accurate du-
plications of features, substantiated by historical, physical, or pictorial evidence.
Surface cleaning of structures shall be undertaken with the gentlest means possible. Sandblasting and other clean-
ing methods that will damage the historic building materials shall not be undertaken.
Contemporary design for alterations and additions to existing properties are appropriate when such alterations and
additions do not destroy significant historic, architectural, or cultural material and are compatible with the size, scale,
color, material, and character of the property, neighborhood, or environment.
Whenever, possible, new additions or alterations to structures shall be done in such a manner that if such additions
or alterations were to be removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the structure would not be im-
The installation of protective or code-required mechanical systems shall be concealed whenever possible so as not
to intrude upon or detract from the property’s aesthetic and historical qualities except where concealment would re-
sult in the alteration or destruction of historically significant materials or spaces.
Reconstruction of a part or all of a property shall be undertaken only when such work is essential to reproduce a
significant missing feature in a historic district, and documentation exists to ensure an accurate reproduction of the
Applications for Certificates of Appropriateness for properties in Local Historic Districts are reviewed based on the
Preservation Plan and Design Standards adopted for each Local Historic District.
Application for Certificate of Appropriateness
for a City Landmark or Local Historic District
Adopted December 2012
Application for Certificate of Appropriateness
for a City Landmark or Local Historic District
Adopted December 2012
BP- PR- C14H/LHD -
Property Name or LHD: Contributing/Non-contributing
Permit Information
Property Information
Scope of Work
For Office Use Only
Architect or Contractor Information
Owner’s Signature Date Applicant’s Signature Date