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Historic Preservation

Historic designation, districts, and preservation-related information

Why do I need a COA for alterations to a non-historic, contemporary building?

Alterations to one building can affect nearby properties.  Therefore, proposed alterations are evaluated for compliance with the ordinance guidelines to determine if there will be any detrimental impact on adjacent properties.  Alterations should be compatible with and maintain the existing contemporary style.  The Historic Preservation Commission is required to apply the “maximum flexibility” allowed by the ordinance in its review of applications for structures that have little historic or architectural significance.

Why does St. Charles have a Historic Preservation ordinance?

The ordinance protects significant historic and architectural resources and can delay or stop demolitions or inappropriate alterations.  Such changes can result in the loss of the community’s historic and architectural character and heritage.  Inappropriate changes can have a negative impact on the property values and architectural integrity of all the properties within the historic district.

For more information please visit the Historic Preservation  page on the City's website.

Will the Historic Preservation Commission be able to tell me what to do with my property?

Zoning laws set limits on how a property can be used, and this ordinance is part of the St. Charles Zoning Ordinance.  The goal of the Historic Preservation Commission is to protect property values by encouraging contemporary uses of property while protecting exterior architectural and historic resources.     
The Commission is responsible for determining whether alterations or demolition proposed by the property owner will comply with the standards and guidelines of the ordinance.  If they do, the Commission issues a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA).  If the alterations or demolition do not meet the guidelines, the Commission will first work with the property owner to see if the project can be modified to comply with the guidelines.  If not, the Commission will recommend to the City Council that the COA be denied.  The City Council makes the final decision.