For minor construction work not likely to have a significant effect on the character of historic property, review authority has been delegated to the Historic Preservation Office (HPO). HPO reviews permit applications for such work under standards adopted by the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB), and can give an expedited clearance for work that meets HPRB standards.
Eligible Categories of Work
Most minor work on historic properties, including repairs, unobtrusive alterations, and storefront upgrades, qualifies for review by HPO. Reviews are done “over the counter” on a walk-in basis. HPO can typically review and give a historic preservation clearance over the counter within the same day, if the application includes the required documents, the proposed work is consistent with HPRB standards, and the proposal does not require a site visit or an in-depth full staff review.
HPO may require more time (typically up to five business days) to review small additions, new construction, work requiring a mock-up or visibility test, or applications requiring review of large drawing sets or scopes of work.
HPO reviews applications according to written design guidelines adopted by HPRB. Further guidance comes from the historic preservation standards, guidelines and technical materials issued by the National Park Service for use nationwide.
A project must be found consistent with the guidelines in order to obtain approval. Projects deemed inconsistent with the guidelines are referred to the Board for its consideration.
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