Department of Planning and Development
Historic Preservation Design Guidelines

Section 9 : Administrative Approval of Minor Works for a Certificate of Appropriateness in the Washington Historic District.

The intent of this prior authorization is to eliminate time delays for persons who wish to perform improvements to property when the improvements,

  1. do not alter the appearance and character of the property, and/or

  2. will result in recreating the original appearance.

All requests for a prior-authorized Certificate of Appropriateness will be reviewed by the appropriate staff person.

Any request for a prior-authorized Certificate of Appropriateness that does not clearly conform to the items herein described will be referred to the Historic Preservation Commission at its next regularly scheduled or duly advertised meeting called by the Chairperson of the Commission.

Monthly reports of the prior-authorized Certificates of Appropriateness that have been granted by the appropriate staff person will be presented to the Historic Preservation Commission and incorporated into the minutes.

Applicants must complete the appropriate forms for a Certificate of Appropriateness providing suitable information describing the work to be performed. The request will be reviewed by the appropriate staff person for compliance to the Historic District Guidelines. A Certificate of Appropriateness for minor works not approved by the staff will be considered at the next regular meeting of the Commission.

The following list of minor work items may be performed with prior authorization from the Washington Historic Preservation Commission effective upon the date of adoption:

  1. Replacement of missing or deteriorated siding, trim, porch floors, ceilings, columns, posts, rails, balustrades, or architectural details when there is no change in design, quantity, or materials from the original.
    This includes re-installation of original elements or duplications of the original elements with similar new material.

  2. Removal of metal columns, posts, or rails on a porch when they are clearly not original elements and will be replaced with columns, posts, or railings that are original or reproductions of originals constructed of new materials similare to that of the original.

  3. Replacement of missing or deteriorated wooden railings on porches with wooden 2" x 2", 2" x 1", or reproduced, turned balustrades.

  4. Installation of handrails on steps when constructed in the same style and material as existing porch railings. In the event of no existing porch railing, handrails on steps may be constructed when the handrails are of the same materials and scale as the porch posts.

  5. Installation of porch railings on porches with a height of thirty (30) or more inches from the ground, which must have porch railings. Porches that do not have railings may be altered to provide railings that are constructed with 2" x 2", 1" x 2" or turned wooden balustrades. Railings must be consistent with the architectural style of the structure.

  6. Installation of steps leading to porches or doors when constructed of wood or brick.

  7. Installation of underpinning at foundation of structure when constructed of brick.

  8. Installation of foundation vents and/or wooden foundation access doors.

  9. Removal of asbestos, asphalt, or other artificial siding when the original siding is to be repaired or repainted.

  10. Replacement of tin, asphalt, or fiberglass roofs to be replaced at owner's discretion with tin, asphalt, or fiberglass roofing materials.

  11. Installation or removal of gutters and downspouts when the activity does not require alteration or removal of architectural elements.

  12. Installation of canvas awnings on doors, windows, and porches.

  13. Removal of metal awnings.

  14. Installation of storm doors and storm windows constructed of baked-on enamel or painted to match trim color.

  15. Installation of wooden lattice on porches when not to be constructed on "street side" of porch.

  16. Installation of eaves or gable vents to be painted to match trim color.

  17. Installation of roof ventilators, mechanical or turbine, on rear roof line or when not visible from the street.

  18. Construction of exterior chimneys when construction material is of brick.

  19. Installation of electric, heating, or plumbing equipment when not visible from the street or when equipment is screened by appropriate fencing and/or landscaping.

  20. Construction of appropriate wooden fences, either picket or vertical board style, to enclose property or to screen mechanical elements.

  21. Removal of deteriorated accessory buildings which are not original to the site or dilapidated accessory buildings that have been declared unsafe by the Department of Inspections.

  22. Construction of accessory buildings conforming to the Building Code that use the same materials of the principal structure, including siding, windows, doors, and shape of roof.

  23. Installation of wooden louvered shutters on exterior windows when appropriate.

  24. Installation of a 2" x 4" solid wire fence when wire is to be affixed to the rear side of three rail wooden fence. Fence to be constructed of 4" x 4" posts with rails to be no less than 1" x 4" not more than 1" x 6". Such fence shall not extend beyond the front facade of the structure.

  25. Installation of screening on porches when screen is installed on the inside of railings and posts so that railings and posts are visible from the street.

  26. Landscaping projects involving tree removal or significant ground disturbance.

  27. Installation of antennae when not visible from the public right-of-way, but not to include satellite dishes.

All other procedures practiced by the Historic Preservation Commission in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.

Amended by the Washington Historic Preservation Commission the 7th day of April, 1992.

The original document was signed by Michael Sloan, Chairperson of the Historic Preservation Commission on April 7, 1992.

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