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Community Development Historic Preservation

900 Church Street Lynchburg, VA 24504


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Application for Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)

Department of Community Development, (434) 455-3900

Please Note

If you are filling this form out for the property owner, it requires authorization from the property owner. You will need to print out the document, have the property owner sign it, then scan and reattch it in the Upload File box below with your application. This form is required for submission. Note that you cannot partially fill out this application and come back to it at a later time, so the Property Owner Authorization Form must be completed first. Owner Authorization.docx

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This application and all supporting documentation must be submitted to the Secretary of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) at least fifteen (15) days prior to the HPC meetings held on every third Monday of the calendar month (or fourth Monday if a holiday falls on the third Monday) at 4:00 p.m. in the Second Floor Training Room of City Hall, 900 Church Street, Lynchburg, Virginia 24504.

Pursuant to Article II, Section 35.2-13 of the Zoning Ordinance for the City of Lynchburg, within a historic district, no building or structure, including signs, and including non-contributing buildings and structures and signs, shall be erected, reconstructed, restored, demolished or altered in any way that affects the external appearance unless the same is approved as being architecturally compatible with historic landmarks, buildings or structures therein through the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness (COA) by the Historic Preservation Commission, the City Planner or by the City Council.

Property Address (only street address required)

Fee Simple Property Owner of Record

Property Owner Address

I understand that submission of this application authorizes the entry onto the property by the Historic Preservation Commission, City Staff and City Council during the normal discharge of their duties in regard to this application.


The applicant is the:

Petitioner Address

Petitioner Signature

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Who should we email the COA to?


Supporting Documentation

Nature of Request (check all that apply)

For each request, provide the following required materials: 

A. Exterior Alteration 

  • Photographs/maps/drawings to help City staff and Historic Preservation Commissioners understand the proposal 
  • Product tear sheets for proposed materials and paint samples 

B. New Construction/Addition 

  • A site map and other pertinent information for any proposed construction 
  • Drawings/elevations/other pertinent information showing size, form, orientation, texture, colors, and/or materials   
  • Photographs and other documentation of historical evidence to help City staff and Historic Preservation  Commissioners understand the proposal 
  • Product tear sheets for proposed materials and paint samples 

C. Demolition   

  • Documentation of structural condition 
  • Plans for property once demolition is accomplished 

D. Maintenance and Repairs (In‐kind work) 

  • Photographs and other documentation of historical evidence   
  • Product tear sheets for proposed materials and paint samples 

E. Object (Signs, fences, walls, HVAC) 

  • Map of property showing object location 
  • Drawings/specifications/dimensions/materials of proposed object  

Indicate what supporting documentation is being provided:

Please upload the supporting documentation below. If the file(s) exceed the 250MB limit, please email them to

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Required Reviews

Is there any application relevant to this property before the:

Completion of Work

Pursuant to Article II, Section 35.2-13.9 of the City of Lynchburg Zoning Ordinance, the Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) will expire if:

  1.  If the work is not commenced within twelve (12) months of issuance of COA.
  2.  If work is suspended or abandoned for ninety (90) days.
  3.  If work is not completed within twenty-four (24) months of issuance of  COA.

Will there be a problem completing the work within twenty-four (24) months?

Instructions for a Certificate of Appropriateness


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.


APPROVALS:The applicant will be given the HPC’s verbal decision at the meeting.  Within ten (10) business days after the HPC approves a certificate of appropriateness, the City Planner shall issue a certificate of appropriateness for the work authorized. Said certificate shall be posted in a location visible from the street from the commencement of work until the work is completed.

DENIALS:Whenever the HPC shall, in a final decision, deny an application for a certificate of appropriateness, the applicant for such certificate of appropriateness shall have the right to appeal to and be heard before the City Council; provided that the appeal is filed with the clerk of the City Council within fifteen (15) days after the decision by vote of the HPC, a notice in writing of his/her intention to appeal.

Prior to the scheduled city council public hearing the applicant appealing the decision of the historic preservation commission to deny a certificate of appropriateness shall post a notification sign on the property as provided in section 35.2-10.14(d)3 (posted signs).