Certificate of Appropriateness

Certificate of Appropriateness 

Protecting Fayetteville’s historic areas is an important goal of the comprehensive plan and the UDO.  The City has a Historic Resources Planner, who is the City official responsible for administering the Certificate of Appropriateness procedure and staffing the City’s Historic Resources Commission.  A Certificate of Appropriateness is required for any exterior work on structures that is visible from a public street or right-of-way on all landmark historic structures or lands within the Historic/Landmark Overlay (HLO) , including, but not limited to:

  • Demolition
  • Exterior building alterations
  • Material changes in appearance
  • Installation of fencing
  • Replacement of siding, doors, windows, or roofing
  • Installation of outdoor mechanical equipment
  • Replacing broken glass panes, shingles, or missing features with in-kind materials
  • Exterior changes to a structure or site visible from a public street or right-of-way
  • Modifications to site features like parking, landscaping, or drainage facilities

Special notes about demolition:

  • Demolition of an existing landmark historic structure or existing building features on a building or structure in the HLO district requires approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness.  The HRC may not deny an application for demolition unless the State Historic Preservation Officer determines the building or site is of statewide significance and the owner would not suffer extreme hardship or be permanently deprived of all beneficial use or return if demolition were denied.
  • The Historic Resources Commission may apply a condition that delays the commencement of demolition for up to 365 days to enable negotiation regarding alternatives to demolition.

To gain approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness, the applicant shall comply with the historic district standards in Article 30-3.H.3, Historic/Landmark Overlay (HLO) District, and the Design Guidelines for Fayetteville’s Historic Districts and Local Landmarks, which can be obtained by contacting the Planning and Zoning Division or going to City’s website (http://fayettevillenc.gov/government/city-departments/planning-code-enforcement/planning-zoning/historic-districts).

There are several modifications or alterations that do not require issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness.  They include:

  • Normal yard and building maintenance, including replacing existing materials with matching in-kind materials
  • Repainting painted features the same color (NOTE: painting an unpainted surface, or changing an exterior paint color, requires approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness.)
  • Emergency repairs authorized by the Historic Resources Planner.

Certificates of Appropriateness are reviewed and approved by the Historic Resources Planner or by the Historic Resources Commission, depending upon the type of work proposed.

  • Certificates of Appropriateness for minor works, as defined by the Design Guidelines for Fayetteville’s Historic Districts and Local Landmarks, are reviewed and decided by the Historic Resources Planner. 
  • All other development in the HLO, unless exempted, is reviewed and decided by the Historic Resources Commission (HRC).

Applicants considering submitting a Certificate of Appropriateness application are strongly encouraged to schedule a voluntary pre-application conference with the Historic Resources Planner to discuss the application forms, process, and other relevant review requirements prior to submitting the application.  In cases where Certificate of Appropriateness approval is required, applications for a Building Permit will not be reviewed until after approval for the Certificate of Appropriateness has been received.


Special Step in the Certificate of Appropriateness Process

A quasi-judicial public hearing is required at the Historic Resources Commission.  


Additional Information

Historic Preservation and Historic Districts