Within a Historic District, no building or structure, including signs and non-contributing buildings and structures, can be erected, reconstructed, restored, demolished, or altered in any way that affects the external appearance of the building or structure without a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA). Other items needing a COA include roof work, chimneys, fences, and walls, which must be approved by the HPC or its Secretary as being architecturally compatible with the historic landmark, building or structure.
A building or demolition permit will not be issued concerning the erection, reconstruction, alteration, or demolition of a property until the HPC or its Secretary approves a COA for the proposed changes.
The major function of the HPC is to review all proposed exterior modifications of any kind within a Historic District, and to determine whether or not these proposed changes will fit in with the surrounding area. The most important reason for the existence of the HPC is to insure that Lynchburg does not needlessly lose its historic and architectural past.
Certain minor work, which is deemed not to permanently affect the character of the Historic District, may be exempted from review by the HPC. In these cases, the Secretary of the HPC has the authority to administratively approve COAs. Other major work requires approval by the Historic Preservation Commission prior to a COA being issued. The following are examples of minor / major work and the required approval.