Historic Preservation Commission

Roles and Responsibilities

What it Does:

  • Encourages the preservation of significant features while allowing changes with the architectural character of the structure and the surrounding properties.
  • Protects the integrity of designated historic properties and neighborhoods
  • Reviews property owners' application and approves/disapproves:
    • Exterior alterations, relocation or demolition of structures on designated landmark properties
    • Exterior alterations, relocation, demolition, or new construction of structures on properties located within historic districts.
  • Makes consistent, uniform decisions based on established aesthetic guidelines.
  • Gives the applicant and other potentially affected property owners an opportunity to be heard at an open hearing.
  • Follows established rules of procedures
  • Notifies other property owners potentially affected by a proposed change in advance of the open hearing.
  • Follows an objective and democratic process for designating historic properties.

What it DOES NOT do:

  • Require that historic properties be open for tours.
  • Restrict the sale of the property.
  • Require improvements, changes, or restoration of the property.
  • Require approval of interior changes or alterations (except the Wilson Theatre ).
  • Prevent new construction within historic areas.
  • Require approval for ordinary repair or maintenance when the materials and design are not changed.


The local governing board establishes an HPC according to state law by adopting an ordinance. State law and local ordinances determine such criteria as:

  • Commission 's composition and member qualifications
  • Powers and responsibilities
  • Procedure for designation of landmarks and historic districts
  • Procedure for hearing applications for Certificates of Appropriateness