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What is a Certificate of Appropriateness?

A Certificate of Appropriateness is a document received from the Historic Preservation Commission stating that specific work has been approved by the Commission.  A Certificate of Appropriateness is required before most exterior work begins and before a building permit can be issued for properties located in Local Historic Districts.  Changes involving new construction, reconstruction, alteration, demolition, major maintenance, exterior color changes, and the introduction of fences, walls, lighting fixtures, permanent landscaping, etc. require a Certificate of Appropriateness.

There are two types of approval [Staff or Commission] and the process and documentation will depend on the type.  Before beginning a project or submitting an application, it is recommended that applicants call (260) 427-8311 and ask for an Historic Preservation Planner, or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  forpdf DESIGN REVIEW  to determine which type your project will require.  HPC staff will help you with the process.  There is no charge for filing a Certificate of Appropriateness.

Click HERE to complete an online application for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA). 

  • The online application has an option to select the historic district in which the property is located.  If you do not know, or are unsure of, the name of the historic district, please choose "other."  If your property is a single property Local Historic District, please choose "Individual Property District" from the drop down menu.
  • If you would like a copy of the COA application returned to you for your records and to confirm submission, please provide an email address at the bottom of the application.
  • When your application is complete, please press "submit."  Please be aware that the  Historic Preservation Commission staff reserves the right to request that certain sample materials, plans, and attachments (for example, paint color samples) be submitted in their original form to the HPC office.

If you prefer, you may downloard a PDF version of the application.  Completed applications should be sent or delivered to the address listed at the bottom of the application.  Click pdfHERE to download a PDF version of the application.

For Design Guidelines, clickpdf GUIDELINES.

[If you have difficulty in opening a PDF, you may need to download a newer version of Adobe Reader.  Click ADOBE for a free download.]