City of Jacksonville


Steps in Obtaining a COA

When working on a property designed a local landmark or property located in a local historic district, you must obtain an approved Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) application prior to beginning any work. You will need to register as a new user on the COA application website if you have not used it previously.

If you are working on a larger project, such as a new garage, an addition, or new construction, it is recommended you call and meet with a planner prior to finalizing plans and submitting your application.

1. Complete a COA application with the appropriate attachments.
*If you do not upload all the required attachments, the system will not allow you to submit your application. If you have successfully submitted your application, you should receive an email from the system saying you have submitted an application and an email from a Planner within seven (7) business days. Please call the Historic Preservation Section (904-255-7859) if you have not received an email or phone from a Planner within that timeframe. 

2. Chapter 307 of the municipal code allows staff to approve basic maintenance, repairs, the construction of small accessory structures, and some additions administratively when such work is consistent with the District Design Regulations and Secretary of the Interior Standards. All other applications are required to be heard by the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission (JHPC).

3. While administratively approved COAs are typically processed within a week or less, depending on the complexity of the request, applications to the Commission are reviewed at a monthly meeting and take longer to process. Here is more information about the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission (JHPC).

For applications heard by the JHPC:
  • Submitted online applications will be reviewed by staff for completeness.  Only complete applications will be processed and invoiced.  Incomplete applications will be placed on hold until the applicant addresses any deficiencies with the application.  Although the online application system may allow you to submit your application, Staff will make the final determination if the application is sufficient or not.
  • Once an application is deemed complete and sufficient, the applicant receives an invoice from staff.  This invoice can be paid at the Tax Collector’s Office.  A copy of your paid receipt must be provided to the Planning and Development Department.  This can be in person, or in the form of a scanned PDF that can be emailed to a Planner.
  • Upon submittal of a paid receipt, staff will supply you with public notice signs to be posted on the subject property.  Signs must be posted at least two weeks prior to the hearing date.  The intake planner will inform you the day the signs must be posted by in order to have the item heard at the next JHPC meeting.  You will also need to email staff a photograph of your posted sign along with the completed sign affidavit..
  • Once an application is determined complete and sufficient, is paid and properly noticed, staff will visit the site, review the application in detail and make a recommendation. Staff then drafts a report for the Commission's review and consideration. The report to the commission, along with the applicant's submitted documents will be provided to the JHPC for their review and consideration at the public hearing.
  • The JHPC makes the final decision on each application at the monthly meeting. It is strongly recommended that the applicant attend the meeting to answer questions and speak on record regarding the application. The Commission may defer applications until the next meeting if the applicant is not present.
  • Applicants will be given three (3) minutes to present their application to the Commission.  Any additional evidence or photographs submitted to the Commission will be kept as part of the public record.  Please provide 10 copies of any additional information you plan to submit.  The Commissioners may ask you questions after your three (3) minute presentation.  Please address all questions and responses to the Chair of the Commission, and not individual Commissioners.
  • Within a few weeks after the meeting, the applicant will receive a final order in the mail. This order will explain the decision of the Commission, and outline any conditions they may have placed upon approval. The final order will also establish the appeal deadline.