Georgetown Historic Planning

Downtown and Old Town Design Guidelines Update

Purpose of this Update:

We are updating the Design Guidelines for our Historic Districts – help connect our past to our future!

In April 2019 the Georgetown City Council adopted changes to the Certificate of Appropriateness review requirements, which you can read in Ordinance 2019-21.  Certificates of Appropriateness are required for projects in the Historic Overlay Districts . Changes include the review of new residential construction, the review of requests for demolition or relocation of historic structures and the use of materials. This update will incorporate Council’s changes, as well other updates and improvements for document usability.

Changes to the Historic District Design Guidelines are here!

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If you have questions about the update please call the Downtown & Historic Planner at (512) 930-3581, email or visit the Planning Department at 809 Martin Luther King Jr. Street, across from City Hall.

City Council voted to approve the changes to the Historic District Design Guidelines in their meeting on July 27, 2021. The changes will go into effect on September 1, 2021. All new applications will use the new Historic District Design Guidelines below.

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Project Timeline:

We are approaching the project in three phases:

  • Here’s what we have – understanding the character and structures that makes our historic districts so special!
  • Here’s what we love: The things we want to still be here in 75-100 years!
  • Here’s how we protect that in the future: A draft version of the updated Guidelines for review and comment before it is presented to the City Council for adoption!

Who to Contact if you have Questions:

  • Call the Planning Department (512) 930-3575
  • Call the Historic Planner (512) 930-3581
  • Email the Historic Planner
  • Visit the Planning Department Office at 809 Martin Luther King Jr. Street

What Has Happened So Far:


  • How do I know if I live in a historic district?
    • You can use the interactive web map, click here and enter your address in the bar at the top left of the screen.
  • What are the Design Guidelines?
    • Guidance for exterior changes to structures within the designated Downtown and Old Town historic overlay districts. You can read them by clicking here.
  • What parts of the Design Guidelines are being updated?
    • how to treat or replace historic materials
    • how new construction can be compatible with the historic districts
    • what kind of building modifications will help keep the historic character of Downtown and Old Town 
    • what kind of commercial signage will be a good fit for our historic districts
    • graphics and images used in the document
  • How will this affect my property?
    • Changes to properties in the historic overlay districts are regulated by the Design Guidelines through the Certificate of Appropriateness process. The Design Guidelines apply to new projects and changes to existing properties.
  • Will this project give HARC more or less authority?
    • The authority of the Historic and Architectural Review Commission (HARC) is granted by the City Council through the bylaws of the Commission. This Update is not intended to change that authority.
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