Design Review Approvals
The city's Historic Preservation Office (HPO) performs design review for exterior changes to properties listed on the Phoenix Historic Property Register to ensure changes are compatible with the historic character of the property and/or historic district. This includes properties listed on the Phoenix Historic Property Register (i.e. properties with "HP" or "HP-L" overlay zoning), either individually or located in a district.
Design Review Process Overview
A Certificate of Appropriateness or a Certificate of No Effect is required for all proposed building permit applications affecting the exterior of properties listed on the city's Historic Property Register, including infill construction and changes to non-historic properties located within historic districts. HPO staff will review your project to determine if it is eligible for a Certificate of No Effect or Certificate of Appropriateness. All projects are required to follow the city's Historic Preservation Philosophy and General Design Guidelines for Historic Properties to determine the project's potential effect on the historic character of the property and/or district. To provide applicants with technical assistance on proposed projects requiring building permits, HPO maintains walk-in hours from 12:30-5:00 p.m. each business day. Customers must sign in by 4:00 p.m. and may continue their business transaction through close of business at 5:00 p.m. If the property owner or his/her representative are unable to make it to the HPO walk-in hours, an appointment may be scheduled at another time by calling 602-261-8699.
Certificate of No Effect
A Certificate of No Effect (PDF) is a review process for minor work which will have no effect on the historic character of a property. This work can include, but is not limited to, projects such as electrical box repairs/upgrades, gas line work, commercial signs, driveway changes and window and door repair/restoration work. If the work meets the design guidelines, HPO staff can administratively approve the project by issuing a Certificate of No Effect, and provide the applicant with the approval needed to obtain a building permit.
Certificate of Appropriateness
A Certificate of Appropriateness (PDF) is required for some proposed additions and new construction, and all other projects that propose to diminish, eliminate or adversely affect a property. City HPO staff will review your project to determine if it is eligible for a Certificate of No Effect or requires a Certificate of Appropriateness.
In order to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness, the first step is to contact the HPO to schedule a pre-application meeting with one of the historic preservation planners. At this meeting, the planner will discuss the proposed project with you and make suggestions regarding the design, materials, placement or other details in order to guide the project towards meeting the city's Historic Preservation Philosophy (PDF) and General Design Guidelines for Historic Properties (PDF). The planner will also review the Certificate of Appropriateness process, the Instructions for Filing an Application for a Certificate of Appropriateness (PDF) and answer any questions you may have regarding the process.
Prior to submitting plans for the hearing, applicants are encouraged to review them with adjacent neighbors as well as the neighborhood association in which the property is located. The appropriate neighborhood association contact can be obtained from the Historic Preservation Office.
Requests for Demolition Approval
The Historic Preservation Office seeks to protect buildings within the city of Phoenix that are important to its past. In cases where the property owner wishes to demolish a property that is listed on the Phoenix Historic Property Register, a Request for Demolition Approval must be submitted to the HPO. For information regarding this process, see Requesting Demolition Approval, Submittal Requirements (PDF) and the Request for Demolition Approval Application (PDF). In the event that the initial application for Demolition Approval is denied, the property owner may request a Certification of Economic Hardship Hearing. For more information on this process and what is required for submittal, see Economic Hardship Instructions (PDF).
For more information, visit the Historic Preservation Office from 12:30-5:00 p.m. on each business day. Customers must sign in by 4:00 p.m. and may continue their business transaction through close of business at 5:00 p.m. If the property owner or his/her representative is unable to make it to the HPO during walk-in hours, an appointment may be scheduled at another time by calling 602-261-8699.