Certificates of Appropriateness
Application Form and Procedures
This certificate (COA) is the Commission's written affirmation that a proposed change is sympathetic to the historic character of the property and is consistent with the intent of the ordinance. All exterior repairs, replacements, alterations, and building permits at your locally designated historic property and yard require a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) prior to beginning work. Many changes that do not require building permits nonetheless require a COA (such as re-roofing, re-siding, window replacement, tuck-pointing, and major landscaping) because of their potential to harm the historic character of the building and the unique characteristics and intricate details older homes have. When a permit is applied for, the Permit & Development Center will check to see if the property in question is a designated Historic Structure, Historic Site or within a Historic District. If it is, the applicant is required to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness.
Application form (PDF)
Email Client Instructions (Outlook, Thunderbird, Apple Mail, etc.)
Both an email client and Acrobat Reader/Pro are necessary. Download the application form and open in Acrobat Reader/Pro. Do not complete the application form within a browser. The "SUBMIT" button should open a new email message in your email program. Please attach any further necessary materials such as drawings, renderings, and photos in this email message. If the "SUBMIT" button does not open a new, blank email message, follow the web-based email instructions below. A signature is not necessary for this form of electronic submission.
- Web Mail Instructions (Gmail, Icloud, Yahoo, etc.)
The "SUBMIT" button does not work with web-based e-mail. If you have Acrobat Pro, fill out the form and "Save As" and attach it to an email along with other materials. If you do not have Acrobat Pro, you may need to download, print, and scan the form and then submit to firstname.lastname@example.org with all further necessary documentation as additional email attachments.
- If you are applying for tax credits through the Wisconsin Historical Society you may submit a copy of your Homeowner tax credit form, State Commercial Credit Part II, or NPS Part II, in place of our form.
- Procedure for approval is in the HPC by-laws (on page 8 of the linked PDF
Check Your Designation Status
Unsure if your property is designated? Use My Milwaukee Home and open the "Special Interest" tab. The historic designation status of your property will be listed there. Properties marked as "locally designated" require a Certificate of Appropriateness for all exterior work.