For information on new application deadlines for a Certificate of Appropriateness (or Approval) for June, and additional information on a new application review process, visit here.

PUBLIC NOTICE:Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, beginning on May 16, 2020 and until further notice, all commission and board meetings staffed by the Planning Division will be held in a digital format with members attending via WebEx.

Virtual Commission Meetings

Beginning on May 16, 2020 all scheduled commission and board meetings will be held in a digital format with commissioners and speakers attending via WebEx.

Meeting Dates, Agendas, Case Materials and Contact Information: Go to the commission webpage (below) to download meeting materials or contact staff. Materials are generally posted one (1) week in advance of the meeting.

How to View a Meeting*: Meetings will be streamed on YouTube:
Streaming will begin shortly before the meeting is convened. Comments received via YouTube will not be part of the official public record for the meeting.

*Business Meetings and Panel meetings may not be available on YouTube. Please contact staff to confirm how to view a Business Meeting or Panel Meeting.

How to Participate: Written comments must be submitted by 4:00 PM the day prior to a scheduled meeting. Speaker slips must be submitted 2 hours prior to a scheduled meeting (24 hours preferred). Important: To learn more about how to submit comments, submit a speaker slip or join the WebEx meeting, read “How to Participate.”

Applicants: To learn how to join a virtual meeting, read “Instructions for Applicants.” See instructions below for more information on how to submit an application.

Questions: Commission email addresses are listed at the bottom of this page. Those unable to use email or access the website should contact 614-724-4437 for alternative accommodation at least 24 hours in advance.

Meeting Accommodations: It is the policy of the City of Columbus that all City-sponsored public meetings and events are accessible to people with disabilities. If you need assistance in participating in this meeting or event due to a disability as defined under the ADA, please call the City’s ADA Coordinator at (614) 645-8871, or email [email protected], at least three (3) business days prior to the scheduled meeting or event to request an accommodation. 


Historic Preservation and Design Review Areas

This page provides information on Columbus historic preservation and design review areas, including instructions on how to apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness or Certificate of Approval in those areas.

The Planning Division serves as staff to the following design review boards, commissions and architectural review commissions that have development related approval authority. (see list below)

Property owners and developers that are making changes to their property within these areas may be required to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness or Certificate of Approval (COA). Changes that may require review by a board or commission within these areas include all exterior changes, changes of use, signs/graphics, landscaping, or lot combinations. Information is provided at the links below to help you determine if a COA is required for a proposed change or modification to property in these areas.

How to determine property is within a Historic Preservation District, Design Review Area, or Zoning District

The Historic Preservation and Design Review Areas webmap may be used to determine if a property is within a designated area.  Users may search by address to find a property, then, click on the property to view a pop-up that lists the name of any historic district or design review area. The pop-up also contains a link to the COA application form and additional information. In rare circumstances a property may be located in multiple design review areas. If that is the case a small white triangle pointing right will appear at the top of the pop-up. Simply click the triangle in order to see any other design review areas that may apply.

Information on each specific area, including meeting schedules, the COA application form, design guidelines, city code, bylaws, the commission roster, and maps may be found at the links below*.

*The Planning Division also staff the Columbus Art Commission, Big Darby Accord Panel, and Rocky-Fork Blacklick Accord Panel. Information about the CAC and two Panels is available by following the links provided. 

Basis for Review

The basis for the review of applications for COAs are standards found in city code, design guidelines adopted by City Council, and/or the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties (for Columbus Register Districts and properties individually listed in the Columbus Register of Historic Properties).  Refer to the relevant historic district or design review area (via above links or the webmap) to find the city code and design guidelines for that area.

How to Complete an Application for Certificate of Appropriateness or Approval (COA)

Standards and Guidelines: Review the standards and guidelines for the applicable area (see links above)

Application Requirements and Deadlines: Applications must be 100% complete and submitted by the required deadline, including required submission materials to be processed. Incomplete applications cannot be processed for commission/board or staff review. Materials submitted in the application are considered to be final and will be presented to the Board/Commission for review.  The applicant is not permitted to bring updated materials to a Board/Commission meeting without prior staff approval.

Required Materials: See the COA application for required materials. As indicated within the “Required Materials” section of the COA application, applicants must submit the required materials as attachments with the completed COA Application to the appropriate commission/board (see Contact Information Section below or the "Submittal Methods" section of the COA Application). File names for attachments should include the property address. See the COA Application for additional information.

Photos: The application should include photos of each side of existing building(s) and/or site and detailed views of the specific areas to be repaired or altered. Photos should be .jpg format. Include photos that provide both a broader view or context and a closer view to allow staff to view details. Photo file sizes should be limited to 1 MB or smaller when possible.

Important Note: A COA is not a permit for work. The COA and approved drawings, stamped by the Planning Division, must be taken to the Department of Building and Zoning Services ( to obtain permits.

Contact Information

Use the appropriate email address to submit completed COA application forms or to ask questions.  If you are unable to email, call 614-724-4437 to request alternative delivery options or to ask questions.

Downtown Commission: [email protected]
University Impact District Review Board: [email protected] 
East Franklinton Review Board: [email protected] 
Brewery District Commission: [email protected] 
German Village Commission: [email protected] 
Historic Resources Commission: [email protected] 
Italian Village Commission: [email protected] 
Victorian Village Commission: [email protected]

Columbus Art Commission

To learn more, please visit the Columbus Art Commission page or email [email protected]

Rocky Fork-Blacklick Accord and Big Darby Accord Panels

To learn more, please visit the Advisory Panels page or email [email protected]