Historic Preservation & Building Permits

The City has a strong preservation ethic. The 30-block area of downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This same area is protected by the City’s Historic Preservation Board, which reviews any changes to its precious resources. The City has adopted the International Existing Building Code 2003.

Certificate Of Appropriateness
A Certificate Of Appropriateness is required for signage as well as the construction, restoration, alteration to exterior or demolition of structures within the district. This form must be submitted to the Historic Preservation Officer and reviewed by the Commission prior to beginning such work.

Historic Preservation Resources and Information
You may review the Ordinance, Application for Certificate of Appropriateness, and Secretary of Interior’s Guidelines under Historic Preservation. Information on signage is also available. Information on signage is also available as approval must be obtained from the Historic Preservation Board.

Treatment Approaches
When working on a historic structure, the 4 treatment approaches in order of preference are Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration, and Reconstruction:
  • Preservation places a high premium on the retention of all historic fabric through conservation, maintenance and repair. It reflects a building's continuum over time, through successive occupancies, and the respectful changes and alterations that are made.
  • Rehabilitation emphasizes the retention and repair of historic materials, but more latitude is provided for replacement because it is assumed the property is more deteriorated prior to work.
  • Restoration focuses on the retention of materials from the most significant time in a property's history, while permitting the removal of materials from other periods.
  • Reconstruction establishes limited opportunities to re-create a non-surviving site, landscape, building, structure, or object in all new materials.
Choosing the most appropriate treatment for a building requires careful decision-making about a building's historical significance, as well taking into account a number of other considerations. Find details in The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

A Certificate of Appropriateness and Sign Permit must be obtained prior to erecting a sign for your business.

Interior Changes
Interior changes also require permits. Please view the applications and forms webpage for specific information. Things common in Downtown buildings that require permits are demolition of a wall, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and roofing. You may do your own work, but you are still required to have a General Contractor License through the Building Department.