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Tips for Commission Members

Helpful Information for Historical Commission Members


  • Read your community's historic preservation ordinance and refer to it often. Make special note of the purposes of the ordinance.
  • Be friendly with all applicants and leave them with a good impression of the local government process.
  • Use the specific criteria outlined in the ordinance for designating districts and/or landmarks when making designations.
  • Use the design guidelines in the ordinance when making a decision on the appropriateness of a building alteration.
  • review each application as a separate case and apply the ordinance's criteria each time.

Do Not:

  • Apply your idea of what is "pretty" or "in good taste" to decide if a proposed alteration is appropriate.
  • Require a design of all new buildings, alterations or additions to follow a particular theme or architectural style.
  • Embarrass the applicant by criticizing his/her application openly in the meeting or in the media.
  • Turn down an application without giving the applicant specific guidance as to how the application could be improved to meet the criteria of the ordinance.
  • Be afraid to ask the applicant for more information if the application is incomplete or if there is not enough information to make a decision.