Applying for a Certificate of Appropriateness

Historic District Certificate of Appropriateness 

  • Article 6-1800 of the Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance provides for the protection of historically and culturally significant areas by the creation of Historic Site/ Historic and Cultural Conservation Overlay Zoning Districts. A requirement of Article 6-1900 is the Certificate of Appropriateness (CAPP).
  • The Historic District Review Committee (HDRC) holds the authority to issue Certificates of Appropriateness for the following purposes: new construction, reconstruction, alteration, relocation, restoration, and demolition. Before any work of buildings or structures located in a historic district can proceed, plans must be presented and reviewed by the HDRC. 
  • Applicants should note that approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness does not mean automatic issuance of a zoning permit. Any CAPP approved by the HDRC becomes invalid if the authorized work is not begun within five years.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to schedule a pre-submittal meeting with the Department of Planning staff prior to filing applications. Pre-submittal meetings with the Department of Planning staff can be scheduled by calling 703-777-0246 or emailing the Department of Planning and Zoning.
  1. How Does the Review Process Work?
  2. Filing Certificate of Appropriateness
  3. Previous Certificates of Appropriateness Applications
  • Schedule a pre-application meeting with staff to determine if approval is required by calling 703-777-0246 or emailing the Department of Planning and Zoning
  • If approval is required, submit a Certificate of Appropriateness (CAPP) and associated materials. Submissions can be made online.  
  • CAPPs are reviewed by the Historic District Review Committee (HDRC) at the next available monthly meeting. 
  • Some minor actions to existing buildings require only review by staff. Contact staff to determine if your project meets the criteria for an administrative review. Decisions typically are made within 5 business days. 

Examples of projects that require a CAPP: 

  • New structures  
  • Additions to existing structures  
  • Changing materials on an existing structure 
  • Demolition, in whole or in part  

Examples of projects that do not require a CAPP:

  • Bona fide agricultural projects as defined in the Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance. 
  • Repainting  
  • Replacement in-kind of existing materials 
  • Interior alterations