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All work involving a change to an exterior feature of a designated property requires design review. Projects that physically alter the property include but are not limited to:
Neither interior alteration nor a change in the use of the property require design review. The Historic Preservation Ordinance applies to external appearance of the property and regulates neither zoning nor land use. Ordinary maintenance does not require design review.
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All designated properties require design review. Designated properties include all properties within locally designated historic districts and individually designated sites. Please note that design review covers both historic (contributing) and non-historic (non-contributing) properties in a historic district.
The City currently recognizes the Crosstie Historic District as a local historic district and provides guidance and support to those property owners within that district. This historic district encompasses a major portion of the historic downtown area of Cleveland. Call the Department of Community Development at 662-843-4601 to confirm whether or not a property is located within a regulated historic district.
The Historic Preservation Ordinance provides for a design review process. Design review consists of the evaluation of any proposed exterior work upon a designated property. Both minor and extensive projects must be reviewed and approved prior to beginning work.
The design review process is often triggered by a building permit application; however, building permits cannot be issued until design review is complete. Although some types of work projects, such as the installation of a walkway or a satellite dish, may not require a building permit, design review is still required.
When planning a work project, an owner must submit a completed application for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA). The COA Application (PDF) is available from and should be submitted to the Department of Community Development at 1098 Old Highway 61 N. The deadline for submitting applications is one week prior to the Heritage Commission’s regular meeting.
Utilizing design guidelines and the general standards for the rehabilitation of historic properties, the Heritage Commission must decide to approve or deny the application. If the application is approved, a COA is issued and a design review is completed.