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Certificates of Appropriateness

A Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is required for any exterior alteration to a designated landmark, landmark site, or property within a historic district prior to undertaking construction. The COA process protects locally recognized properties from being adversely altered or demolished and requires the submission of building plans and material descriptions for approval. Staff utilizes design guidelines based on the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation to review COAs.

Exterior alterations include but are not limited to the following: changes to walls, roof, windows, additions to a building, site work and demolition. New construction, relocation, and disturbances to any designated archaeological site also require a COA.

If you are planning to make alterations to your property, please call us prior to the development of your plans. Staff is available to assist with design solutions, property history research, tax incentives, and products and materials that will meet your construction needs while also complying with the City's requirements. The City of St. Petersburg appreciates your efforts to protect and preserve our resources.

There are two types of COA:

Administrative Review by the Urban Planning and Historic Preservation Division

Administrative review is only available for the following categories:

  • Alterations that will not, generally, impact the character of a district or historic property.
  • Alterations that remove non-historic materials to be replaced with historically appropriate materials.
  • Alterations that return the building to its original design or materials based on historic evidence.
  • Minor modifications of a previously approved COA.
  • Interior alteration or interior new construction which is a qualifying improvement to a qualifying property requesting the Ad Valorem Tax Exemption for historic properties.
  • Minor maintenance.
  • Staff may refer any case to the Community Preservation Commission (CPC). 

Review by Community Preservation Commission

  • Alterations that change the design or materials of a building or site.
  • Relocation of a designated property.
  • Demolition of a designated property.
  • Ground disturbing requests on archaeological sites.

Applications for a COA request must be completed and submitted to the Urban Planning and Historic Preservation Division by the scheduled deadline attached to the COA application.

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