Historic Preservation Commission
History and Purpose
The City of Tuscaloosa Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) was formed in the fall of 2004. It was created to assure that Tuscaloosa’s historic resources are maintained in a manner appropriate to the city’s heritage. It provides primary guidance in the planning and design of projects that are sympathetic to the special character of the historic districts.
to view portions of chapter 20 of the City Code pertaining to the Historic Preservation Commission and our historic districts in general.
The HPC normally meets on the second Wednesday of each month. The purpose of these meetings is to review applications for Certificates of Appropriateness for work being done to properties in historic districts.
Meetings are held in the City Council Chamber on the second floor of City Hall.
|Catherine Pagani, Chair||Anne Hornsby|
|Jim Johnson, Vice-Chair||Judi Rabel|
|Brett Clark||Ben Uzzell|
|Ian Crawford||Mary Harmon Young|
Certificate of Appropriateness
In any historic district, no building or structure may be erected or demolished, and no material change in the exterior appearance of such property or structure shall be made or permitted to be made by the owner or occupant unless or until an application for a Certificate of Appropiateness (COA) (fillable form must be downloaded) to be has been submitted to and approved by the HPC. The HPC will review properly submitted applications at their regularly scheduled monthly public hearing. Each application will be reviewed for consistency with the
Ais provided in the Quick Reference Design Guidelines that indicates the level of review required for specific types of work being performed in historic districts.
Items listed in the Appendix in the Major Work category require the submission of a COA Application and full HPC review.
Items listed in the Minor Work category may be approved by the Planning Department Staff on a case-by-case basis provided that enough information is submitted, and that the proposal also meets all relevant current policies and standards adopted by the HPC. Such review and approval shall not require a public hearing or notice to adjoining property owners.
Items listed in the Routine Maintenance category and involving no material changes will only require the submission of an Expedited Review Application. This application is reviewed by the Planning Department Staff.
The HPC will not grant a COA for the demolition or relocation of any property within an historic district unless the HPC finds that the removal or relocation of such building will not be detrimental to the historical or architectural character of the district. In making this determination, the HPC will consider the following:
a. The historic or architectural significance of the structure;
b. The importance of the structure to the integrity of the Historic District, the immediate vicinity, an area, or relationships to other structures;
c. The difficulty or the impossibility of reproducing the structure because of its design, texture, material, detail or unique location;
d. Whether the structure is one of the last remaining examples of its kind in the neighborhood, the county, or the region or is a good example of its type, or is part of an ensemble of historic buildings creating a neighborhood;
e. Whether there are definite plans for refuse of the property if the proposed demolition is carried out, and what effect such plans will have on the architectural, cultural, historical, archaeological, social, aesthetic, or environmental character of the surrounding area.
A Demolition Application is required to be submitted to and approved by the HPC at their regularly scheduled monthly hearing. This application shall contain the following information:
1) The date the owner acquired the property, purchase price, and condition on date of acquisition;
2) The number and types of adaptive uses of the property considered by the owner;
3) Whether the property has been listed for sale, prices asked and offers received, if any;
4) Description of the options currently held for the purchase of such property, including the price received for such option, the conditions placed upon such option and the date of expirations of such option;
5) Replacement construction plans for the property in question and amounts expended upon such plans, and the dates of such expenditures;
6) Financial proof of the ability to complete the replacement project, which may include but not be limited to a performance bond, a letter of credit, a trust for completion of improvements, or a letter of commitment from a financial institution; and
7) Such other information as may reasonably be required by the commission.
Within property part of a locally designated historic district as defined in Sec. 24-221 and chapter 20, Article II, Division 1 and located within the TO Downtown Campus District, the zoning board of adjustment may, as a special exception subject to the primary and discretionary warrants for the use as outlined in Sec. 24-91, approve the short term rental of a dwelling subject to the following:
- Short-term rentals in each locally designated historic district will be limited to a ten percent (10%) cap of the total number of residentially-used properties per district.
- Approvals will be granted for a period of five years unless otherwise specified by the Zoning Board of Adjustment for a shorter period.
Most historic properties may be occupied by no more than two (2) unrelated persons, unless the property has been certified as a legal non-conforming use to allow its occupation by no more than three (3) unrelated persons. If you are considering buying or renting a property in a historic, please readand call 248-5100 to find out the occupancy restrictions on the property.
For additional information, please contact Blake Deason at 205-248-5100 or email@example.com.
Please use the Occupancy Complaint Form to notify the City that an address may be in violation of Section 20-15.34: Occupancy Restrictions in Historic Districts. Please return the form to the Office of Urban Development, Planning Division by email, USPS mail, or in person.
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Historic Preservation Commission Design Guidelines
*Last Updated May 2017
Quick Reference Guide
*Last Updated May 2017
Work Classification Appendix
(Major Work v. Minor Work)
*Last Updated May 2017
Applications, Fees, and Forms
Designation of Agent Form
(Required if applicant is not the property owner, or if property owner will not be present at the meeting)
*last updated 07/17/2017