City Of Jacksonville Historic Preservation Department And COA Process

Dated: 03/16/2017

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The Historic Preservation Section of the City’s Planning department reviews work occurring in local historic districts through the Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) process. The Historic Preservation Section staff also gives administrative assistance to the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission (JHPC). The JHPC is a Mayor appointed commission, consisting of seven members. This Commission reviews specific COA applications and recommends to City Council any designation of local districts or landmarks. While Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP) can assist residents and businesses with the COA process, it is the City of Jacksonville's Historic Planning Department that makes all decisions regarding an applicant's COA.

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Making Changes to Your Home
COA Process

Any exterior changes that you would like to make to your home or business that is within the historic district, require a COA application. This process is done through the City of Jacksonville’s Historic Preservation Department. By having an approved COA application, you’ll be protecting the integrity of the historic district, as this process ensures historic preservation standards and design regulations are being met. While some work, like new construction, window replacement, and demolition require the review of the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission; most changes can be approved administratively through the department.

“There are two types of structures in a historic district as far as the overlay is concerned: contributing and non-contributing,” John Allmand, member of the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission shared. “The word ‘contributing’ refers to the buildings historical relevance. If it was built before 1945 it is considered to ‘contribute’ to the historical fabric of the neighborhood. If your house was built after, then it is ‘non-contributing’. It is really important to know which you have before planning any exterior renovations. Different rules apply to you based on how your house is classified. Generally speaking non-contributing structures are easier to change and more types of changes are allowed to be handled solely by the historic staff rather than going to the full commission.” 

Application Information

You can view the Certificate of Appropriateness Application here

For interior changes to your home in the historic district, you do not need to go through the COA process. For exterior or interior changes, it is critical to work with a contractor who has experience with historic homes. We suggest reaching out to Riverside Avondale Preservation for its contractor list, as well as asking for referrals from your neighbors. When interviewing contractors, ask if they’ve been through the COA process, their extent of experience working with historic homes, and make sure anyone they work with also understands these processes. If you'd like to learn more about living in the historic Riverside Avondale neighborhood, download our free guide to the area. 

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Heather Benfield

A native of Texas, Heather Benfield lived up and down the East Coast before finding a home in Jacksonville, where she has resided for the last 10 years. Heather attended the University of North Florid....

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