Certificate of Appropriateness


​Owners of historic landmarks or properties within local historic districts are required to obtain a certificate of appropriateness before beginning any type of exterior construction, alteration, or demolition. The local historic district overlay zoning is in addition to all other laws and codes and does not exempt a property from, or diminish, such requirements. The certificate of appropriateness is a preliminary step in obtaining a building permit if a permit is required for proposed work. A certificate of appropriateness certifies that the proposed changes are consistent with the design guidelines and are appropriate within the historic district context. Neither interior alterations nor most normal maintenance work requires a certificate of appropriateness. The entire C.O.A. process is diagrammed at the bottom of this page.

Applications for certificates of appropriateness are processed through the Office of Planning and Development of the City of Rocky Mount. The application form is available for download below. Information may also be obtained by calling the Planning and Development Department at 972-1172. Applications should be submitted at least three weeks before a regularly scheduled meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission in order to me mailed out with the agenda.

All applications must be complete before the Historic Preservation Commission may consider them. To be complete, an application must include all the facts necessary for a full understanding of the applicant's intentions. The application must provide specific information regarding the work so that the commission can determine if there will be any damage or detrimental change to the historic character of the district or landmark. The commission does not consider interior arrangement, nor does it take action except for the purpose of preventing demolition, construction, reconstruction, alterations, restorations, or moving of a building, structure, appurtenant fixtures, or outdoor advertising signs in the historic district, that would be incongruous with the historic aspects of the district.

Applications should include any relevant supplemental materials, such as accurate drawings, site or plot plans, samples of materials, and photographs. If a project, such as a new building, is large enough to require input at several stages, then a committee of the commission may be appointed to work with the owner in developing an acceptable proposal. Once it is issued, a Certificate of Appropriateness is valid for a year.

For more information on obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness (C.O.A.), click on one of the following links: