Georgetown Historic Planning

Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) Applications

A Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is an approval issued by the Historic Preservation Officer (HPO) or by the Historic and Architectural Review Commission (HARC). The purpose of the certificate is to protect the structures and districts in Georgetown by reviewing the project for conformance with the applicable requirements. Either the HPO or HARC determines whether to approve a COA based on the standards established in the Downtown and Old Town Design Guidelines and Unified Development Code (UDC). Once you have an approved COA, you can apply for building or sign permits, which are a separate permit application. Please visit the Building & Inspections Department website for more information about building and sign permits. For other development applications and for an application fee schedule, please visit the City’s Development Manual Page.

When Do I Need a COA?

  • An approved COA is required for projects that are within a Historic Overlay District, for proposed demolition of historic structures outside the historic overlay districts, and for designated Historic Landmarks, according to the requirements in UDC Sec. 3.13.  To identify whether a property is identified as High, Medium or Low Priority on the most recent Historic Resource Survey, click here.  You can also search for a property on the Interactive Historic Map.
  • An approved COA is required for the demolition of any High or Medium Priority structure designated on the Historic Resources Survey that is located outside a Historic Overlay District in and is in the city limits.
  • For complete details regarding Certificates of Appropriateness, see the UDC Section 3.13, or contact the Downtown & Historic Planner at or (512) 930-3581.

Can I Meet with Someone to Talk About My Project Before I Submit an Application?

A Pre-Application Meeting is encouraged prior to submitting any project applications. The Pre-Application Meeting can also help answer questions about other permit types and project requirements, including development and building permits. To request a meeting with city staff, fill out the online request form.

What Do I Need for a COA Application and How Do I Apply?

Please review the Certificate of Appropriateness Application Checklist, which provides important information about the application process, including fees. Applications are only accepted online via the MyGovernmentOnline website. Please click here if you need application instructions.

When you have created an account on the MyGovernmentOnline website, go to the home page of your account, then click the “Planning & Zoning” button at the top and choose “Apply Online”. Enter Georgetown as the jurisdiction, and select “Planning and Zoning” as the project type. Click “Next” and “Get Started on a New Application”. On the dropdown menu, select “Certificate of Appropriateness (CoA)” and click “Next”, then fill out the project information as prompted. Please note that the Owner is the Property Owner and the Applicant is the person submitting the application. You will be able to upload project documents at the end of the application. Please submit PDF files only. The “Permits & Licensing” button is for building and sign permits, which is a separate application process following the approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness.

All COA applications will require the following:

  • Property Owner’s Consent Form  ***this must be signed by the property owner and can designate an applicant to apply on their behalf, or if you are the property owner you may designate yourself as the applicant. This form must be correct and complete.
  • Letter of Intent describing the project and providing a project history and details.
  • Any other information required by the COA Application Checklist, such as project drawings and specifications. Please include current photos of the property, structure and/or condition needing repair or replacement with your application.

There are three sub-application types for COA applications, and each has a different fee. Please consult the COA Application Checklist and Unified Development Code for information on the review authority for a project application and application fee, or if you are unsure, please contact the Downtown & Historic Planner at or (512) 930-3581.

For a calendar of submittal dates, please visit our Development Manual page here.

What is the Approval Process?

  • For projects requiring HPO review, there are no public hearings.
  • There is one required public hearing for COA applications reviewed by HARC, which includes public notice per the requirements of UDC Sec. 3.03.
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