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The mission of the Raleigh Historic Development Commission is to identify, preserve, protect, and promote Raleigh’s historic resources.

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• Design Review and Guidelines


Next COA Major Work Deadline:
October 11


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Design Guidelines

The Design Guidelines for Raleigh Historic Districts and Landmarks are intended to meet several essential needs. They serve different roles for different stakeholders in the historic districts. For property owners, residents, and contractors, they provide primary guidance in planning projects sympathetic to the special character of each of Raleigh's historic overlay districts. More specifically, the Guidelines provide direction to applicants seeking a Certificate of Appropriateness. For commission members and staff, they offer a basis for evaluating proposed changes. In the process, they serve as a valuable tool in the commission's efforts to preserve, protect and promote.

Design Guidelines for Raleigh Historic Districts and Landmarks (effective for COA applications filed after May 7, 2017.)

What needs a COA? Check out the COA List of Work


The following Design Guidelines were effective for COA applications filed between June 2001 and May 8, 2017.

Section 1 

1.0      Introduction          
1.1      Raleigh Historic Districts
1.2      Raleigh Historic Districts Commission
1.3      The Design Review Process
1.4      The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation
1.5      Certificate of Appropriateness Flow Chart 

Section 2, Part 1 

2.0      Site and Setting 
2.1      Public Rights-of-Way and Alleys 
2.2      Archaeology
2.3      Site Features and Plantings
2.4      Fences and Walls 

Section 2, Part 2 

2.5      Walkways, Driveways, and Offstreet Parking
2.6      Garages and Accessory Structures 
2.7      Lighting 
2.8      Signage

Section 3, Part 1 

3.0      Changes to the Building Exterior 
3.1      Wood
3.2      Masonry 
3.3      Architectural Metals 
3.4      Paint and Paint Color
3.5      Roofs 

Section 3, Part 2 

3.6      Exterior Walls
3.7      Windows and Doors
3.8      Entrances, Porches, and Balconies

Section 3, Part 3 

3.9      Storefronts
3.10     Utilities and Energy Retrofit
3.11     Accessibility, Health, and Safety Considerations

Section 4 

4.0      Additions and New Construction
4.1      Decks
4.2      Additions to Historic Buildings
4.3      New Construction

Section 5 

5.0      Relocation or Demolition
5.1      Relocation
5.2      Demolition

Section 6 

6.0      Appendixes
6.1      Resources for Technical Information
6.2      Architectural Terms
6.3      Special Character - Essays and Maps of Raleigh Historic Districts

Complete Design Guidelines (9MB file)

Raleigh Historic Landmarks (RHLs)

On September 5, Raleigh City Council held a joint public hearing with RHDC regarding 4 proposed new Raleigh Historic Landmarks. READ MORE

Historic Overlay Districts (HODs)

The Glenwood-Brooklyn National Register District has become the 1st HOD-Streetside.  READ MORE



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Certificates of Appropriateness (COAs)

Deadline dates for the 2017 COA meetings have changed!  The revised schedule and deadlines document has been posted here.