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Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)

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COACertificate of Appropriateness (COA) is required for all work that would change the exterior appearance of a designated historic property. A COA includes the categories of alterations (additions), new construction and demolition, and relocation.

The COA is the application that the Historic Preservation Board (HPB) reviews at their monthly meetings. During their reviews, the HPB references the criteria set forth in the historic preservation sections of the City’s Unified Land Development Regulations. Review by the HPB insures that any proposed changes will be compatible with the character and design of the individual property and/or historic district.

The process of applying for a COA requires the owner to provide sufficient information on the City’s application form and to provide a narrative, drawings, sketches, photographs, a survey, proof of ownership, and possibly product approvals or brochures for certain building features that will be modified. The owner or representative will consult with staff to ensure that all the information is included in the application. The applicant or his agent must be present at the HPB meeting to answer any questions the HPB may have regarding the application.

Projects that are considered to be general maintenance, repair, or in-kind replacement of existing features can be reviewed administratively by the Historic Preservation Planner. When coming in to the Department of Sustainable Development to apply for a permit application, the first stop will be review by Historic Preservation. Applicants will need to drop off their permit application at the Urban Design and Planning Counter for review and will utilize the Certificate of Appropriateness Administrative Review Form to provide staff with a brief description of the project. The form also provides a list of materials that are required for common application types to be submitted for review. Following the review by the Historic Preservation Planner, if the application is approved, it will then need to be submitted to the Building Division for review by all required disciplines.

Historic Preservation in the City of Fort Lauderdale is regulated through the United Land Development Regulations (ULDR) within several sections as indicated below and through the Historic Preservation Element of the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

ULDR Section 47-24.11 – Historic designation of landmarks, landmark site or buildings and certificate of appropriateness:

ULDR Section 47-32 – Historic Preservation Board (HPB)

ULDR Section 47-16 – H-1 District

ULDR Section 47-17 - Sailboat Bend Historic District

Comprehensive Plan

Comprehensive Plan - Historic Preservation Element

In addition to the ULDR, decisions and recommendations by the Historic Preservation Board and the Historic Preservation Board Liaison are guided the Historic Preservation Design Guidelines and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards.