Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)

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RHDC COA Committee Meeting Local Historic Designation and COAs Before You Begin Major Work or Minor Work Applying for a COA

RHDC COA Committee Meeting

Current Agenda - Dec. 14, 2023  and Dec. 19, 2023

Meeting Date
The next public meeting of the Certificate of Appropriateness Committee scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 14, at 5 p.m. Note: Due to the number of applications received for the December 2023 meeting, a second COA Committee meeting has been scheduled in December.  The additional December COA Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 5 p.m.  Please view both agendas linked above to see all cases scheduled for review in December. 

222 West Hargett Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
Council Chamber

For more information on how to participate in, attend, or view a COA Committee meeting, please visit the Major Work COA webpage. The COA Committee schedule, agendas, minutes, and past decisions are also available.

Filing Calendar
Meeting dates and deadlines

How to Participate in an Evidentiary Hearing at the Meeting

All individuals (including but not limited to all applicants, property owners, witnesses, neighbors, and attorneys) with competent and material evidence relevant to a case may participate in the evidentiary hearing.  All remarks and evidence presented should address the project’s congruity with the RHDC’s Design Guidelines for Raleigh Historic Districts and Landmarks. No sign-up is required. Presentations must be emailed to the Historic Preservation Team two business days prior to the start of the meetingTen copies are required for any documents, exhibits, or any other materials brought to the meeting.

Meeting Minutes
Recent COA Committee Minutes

Local Historic Designation and COAs

Is a COA Needed?

Any exterior change to a property within a General Historic Overlay District (HOD-G), to regulated zones within a Streetside Historic Overlay District (HOD-S), or to a Raleigh Historic Landmark (RHL), must receive a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) prior to beginning the work, regardless of other required city permits.

Is Your Property Locally Designated?

To determine whether your property is located within a local historic district or is a Raleigh Historic Landmark, use the iMAPS web application.


  1. In the right hand panel, select the Property Search tab.
  2. Begin typing your address (i.e. “123 S Main”) in the space provided. It should display possibilities as you type. Click on the correct address – the search should automatically begin. If not, press “enter” to search.
  3. When you are able to view your property, click on the “Layers” tab in the righthand panel.
  4. Scroll down to "Planning and Development," click on the right arrow to expand the selection, then find the “Raleigh Planning and Development” tab, click on the right arrow to expand the selection and toggle on the check box to show the “Historic Properties” layer. Specifically, toggle on check box to show the “RHL Polygons” layer and toggle off check box to hide the “National Register Districts” layer (no COA is required for property that is only designated on the National Register of Historic Places).
  5. Continue scrolling down to the “Zoning Overlay Districts,” click on the right arrow to expand the selection, then toggle on the check box to show all of the “Raleigh Overlay Districts.” Click on the right arrow to expand the selection to make sure that the “General Historic Overlay District (-HOD-G)” and (Streetside Historic Overlay District (-HOD-S)” layers are checked. You can turn off any other layers as needed to clearly see the map.
  6. Locally-designated historic properties will now be shown covered in a brown dotted or diamond-shaped hatch pattern.

The City has additional guidance for using iMAPS on the Find My Zoning webpage.

Before You Begin

Review Standards

All COA projects are reviewed for congruity with the special character of the historic district or landmark and the Design Guidelines for Raleigh Historic Districts and Landmarks. Read the Design Guidelines and your property’s historic designation report to ensure the proposed work is in keeping with them prior to applying for a COA.

Who Can Apply?

The COA applicant is required to be the current property owner. Other legal applicants may include someone holding a valid lease, option, or contract to purchase the property. See NC state statute §160D-403 for more information. A project contact, such as a designer, can be included as part of the application process.

Major Work or Minor Work

There are two types of COA applications. Applicants are encouraged to review the COA List of Work to determine whether their project is classified as Minor Work or Major Work.

Many projects can be approved administratively by the City’s preservation planning staff as Minor Work COAs. More substantial projects typically require a decision from the Raleigh Historic Development Commission’s (RHDC) COA Committee as a Major Work COA application at their monthly meeting.

Be aware that the initial application type may change. This could happen if staff deems the work to be substantial in nature, not clearly in keeping with the special character of the district and Design Guidelines, or potentially precedent-setting. Should this occur, the application will be converted to a Major Work COA for review by the COA Committee at their monthly meeting.

Applying for a COA

Now that you have determined whether to submit a Major or Minor Work COA application, you are ready to prepare materials for submission.

  • To learn more about the Major Work COA submission requirements, fees, and review process, please visit the Major Work COA webpage .
  • To learn more about the Minor Work COA submission requirements, fees, and review process, please visit the Minor Work COA webpage.

Additional Resources

Please follow the links below to learn more about applying for a Certificates of Appropriateness.


Lead Department:
Planning and Development
Service Categories:
Historic Preservation