Design Review Procedures
The following steps should help you move smoothly through the design review process.
1. Become familiar with the design guidelines.
Review the basic content and organization of the design guidelines document and determine which portions apply to your project. A meeting with the WHPC can help to clarify any questions you may have, and will also provide additional resources.
2. Know the character-defining elements of your building.
Consider the important features of your building and plan to avoid alterations that might adversely affect them. You should also consider immediately adjacent properties, the character of the block, and the character of the historic district as a whole.
3. Check other City regulations.
The guidelines are a supplement to other adopted City regulations. The Planning Department can provide information about certain regulations which also may affect the design character of a project.
4. Develop a design concept using the guidelines as a tool for decision making.
Take care to design your alterations so that they are compatible with the originalÂ character of the building. Avoid changes that would hinder the ability to understand the building's original character or that would damage significant historic features or materials. The Design Guidelines contain information as to the nature of acceptable changes and form the basis for the design review process; these should be followed from the outset. You are encouraged to contact members of the Winchester HPC as early as possible for direction and advice.
5. Prepare and submit a Certificate of Appropriateness application for review by the Winchester HPC.
A completed COA form should be completed and submitted to the HPC at least the 3rd Thursday of the month-in order to be heard at the next month's meeting. Adequate documentation is essential to provide a complete understanding of the work proposed. Documentation will include drawings, sketches, and/or a written description of the proposed changes. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.
6. Attend a Winchester Historic Preservation Commission Meeting.
The COA application review process requires public participation and adherence to due process. After submitting an application, property owners are encouraged to attend one of the HPC's monthly meetings to present their projects to the Commission. A COA may be issued at this time, or, if the project deviates from the Design Guidelines, the HPC may require that you alter your plans before you may proceed. Minor projects may be approved without a public meeting.