Applying for a Certificate of Appropriateness
Before any construction, remodeling, renovation, reconstruction or addition of buildings or structures (including fences but excluding farm fences and farm buildings) and signs can proceed, plans must be presented to and reviewed by the Historic District Review Committee (HDRC) and a Certificate of Appropriateness issued. Design for new buildings/structures in historic districts may include contemporary styles.
Applicants should note that approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness does not mean automatic issuance of a zoning permit. All other requirements for the zoning permit must be met. In making a determination as to whether the proposal should be permitted, the committee considers the criteria contained in the Historic District Guidelines, (a document adopted as part of the Zoning Ordinance by reference in Article IV, Division B), and other sources, including the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation (36 CFR 67) and other National Park Service publications.
The application will also be considered in relation to the following as set forth in Article 6-1905:
Applying for a Certificate of Appropriateness
- Exterior architectural features, including all signs
- General design, scale, and arrangement
- Texture and materials
- The relationship of a, b, and c to other structures and features of the district
- The purposes for which the district was created
- The relationship of the size, design, and siting of any new or reconstructed structure to the landscape of the district
- The extent to which the proposal adheres to the adopted Historic District Guidelines
- The extent to which denial of a Certificate of Appropriateness would constitute a deprivation to the owners of a reasonable use of the property
Applicants are strongly recommended to schedule a pre-submittal meeting with Department of Planning and Zoning staff prior to filing an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness. A pre-submittal meeting with Department of Planning and Zoning staff can be scheduled by calling 703-777-0246.
Within three (3) calendar days of filing your application, it will be reviewed by Department of Planning and Zoning staff to determine if it includes the minimum submission requirements before acceptance for further review. A notice of acceptance or of incompleteness specifying those areas where additional information is necessary for review will be forwarded to you following staff review. Once accepted, your application will be reviewed by the Department of Planning and Zoning prior to preparation of a staff report and presentation before the Historic District Review Committee (HDRC) at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting.
Applications are due one month prior to HDRC meetings. The meeting schedule
outlines application deadlines for each meeting.
In order to apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness, the following items must be submitted. Follow the links of the highlighted documents to the appropriate forms which may be downloaded or printed:
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- Fee of $60 with check made payable to "County of Loudoun"
- Nine copies of the Application for a Certificate of Appropriateness (CAPP)
- Nine copies of a plot plan signed by the applicant and drawn to scale
- Nine copies of building plans/specifications and elevations. Plans do not have to be professionally done; however, the plans should convey information adequately for reviewers to analyze the appropriateness of the work according to the five primary design concepts and specific design recommendations outlined in the Historic District Guidelines for each district. (Note that the county recently adopted updated Historic District Guidelines that are divided by historic districts of Goose Creek; Waterford; or Aldie, Bluemont, Oatlands, and Taylorstown (ABOT). Be sure to consult the guidelines that apply to your historic district). All elevations (front, rear and two sides) must be drawn at a minimum scale of 1/4 inch = 1 foot with all details appropriately labeled.
The submitted architectural plans are part of the permanent public record of the project. All buildings and structures shall be built in conformity to the approved plans. Modifications will require approval by the HDRC.
- Nine copies of a Statement of Justification that describes how and why you feel the design is appropriate for the Historic District and/or compatible with the design of the existing historic building / structure.
- Photographs of each existing elevation (front, rear and two sides) and its context with the building site. For new structures on undeveloped land, one photograph of the building site shown from the road or entrance is sufficient.
- A list of primary building elements and materials to be used in construction (i.e. foundation-concrete with brick veneer).
For more information about Loudoun County Historic and Cultural Conservation Districts, please contact Lauren Murphy
in the Department of Planning and Zoning at 703-777-0246.