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How to Apply for Shipstead-Luce Review

To apply for Shipstead-Luce review by the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), follow the steps below. This application also suffices for the historic preservation review of the project, if applicable. A separate application to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) and Historic Preservation Office (HPO) is not necessary.

Step 1: Prepare the Application

Consult the CFA website for information on submission requirements. Prepare the necessary submission materials. If your project is a new building or large addition, you should contact the CFA staff at (202) 504-2200 or [email protected] before applying. For major projects subject to both CFA and HPRB review, you should seek joint meetings with the staffs of the two review agencies before applying. These meetings will help determine whether the project will be referred to HPRB.

Step 2: Submit the Application

To submit the application, send an email to [email protected] with the completed application form and the materials required for submission.  

Please note:

  • We are no longer accepting in-person filings or print copies of submissions at the Historic Preservation Office (HPO).
  • If submissions are too large to send electronically or you are not able to file electronically, please email us at [email protected] and we will make alternative provisions.
  • Submissions through the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) ProjectDox system are not automatically forwarded to HPO for filing. You will need to submit a completed application form with all plans and supplemental materials via email to [email protected] in addition to any ProjectDox submissions.

Step 3: Prepare for the CFA Meeting

After your application is filed, HPO transmits it to CFA. The CFA staff will contact you if needed to discuss the application or request more information. If you have not already done so, the period before the CFA meeting is also an opportunity to inform your neighbors, interested community groups, or the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, as appropriate.

Step 4: At the CFA Meeting

The CFA staff will inform you if your case is on the agenda at the CFA meeting. Major projects typically require a presentation at the meeting. Minor projects are often decided by consent, and placed on the Shipstead-Luce Appendix.
The meeting agenda is posted on the CFA website the Friday before the meeting. If your case is on the agenda, either you or a representative should attend the meeting to present the project and answer questions. You do not need to attend the meeting if your case is on the Appendix.

Step 5: After the CFA Meeting

The CFA staff sends you a letter with the CFA recommendation on your application. If the recommendation is for approval, the CFA staff returns the application to HPO.

Applications are normally returned to the HPO office three business days after the CFA meeting. The HPO staff contacts you by email when the paperwork is ready. You may then continue with other required DCRA reviews.

If CFA recommends against approval of a permit application, you have the option to resubmit revised plans for CFA review. If you do not wish to resubmit and you are in a historic district, contact the HPO staff about the process for a public hearing by the Mayor’s Agent. The HPO staff will also inform you if the project will be referred to HPRB.