Historic Preservation Review Process
For properties located in Cedar Rapids' two local historic districts and properties that are designated as local historic landmarks, the historic preservation review process is mandatory for all exterior changes. Want to find out if your property is a local landmark or in a local district? View the map below or look up your property using the Cedar Rapids Historic Sites Viewer.
How does the historic preservation review process work?
- When you begin thinking about your next home improvement project, first consult the Historic Preservation Design Guidelines. This comprehensive document outlines best practices for repair or remodeling historic properties and is used by the Historic Preservation Commission and Community Development staff when approving exterior projects.
- Explore options for funding - the Historic Rehabilitation Program is a grant program established specifically for property owners in the local historic district and owners of local landmarks to provide funding for for exterior projects such as painting, window and door repair, porch repair, and more. You may be eligible for a grant up to $7,500.
- If your project requires a building permit, visit the Building Services Department located at the City Services Center (500 15th Avenue SW) to fill out an application. Please note that any changes to architectural detailing that may not require a building permit are still required to go through the historic preservation review process.
- A Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) or a Certificate of No Material Effect (CNME) is required before a building permit can be issued for any exterior work. To obtain a certificate, fill out the Local Historic District/Landmark Exterior Work application.
- For minor repairs that follow the Historic Preservation Design Guidelines, Community Development staff can issue a CNME, which typically takes only 1-2 days. You may pick up your building permit once the CNME is issued.
- For major changes such as additions, demolitions, new construction, facade structure modifications, or projects that do not follow the Design Guidelines, review by the full Historic Preservation Commission is necessary to issue a COA.
- The HPC can either approve the application as submitted, modify then approve the application if the applicant agrees, disapprove the application, or table the item to a future meeting date in order to receive additional information.
- It is recommended that applicants attend the HPC meeting if they are able to, but it is not required.
Contact the Community Development & Planning Department
Historic Home Repair Resources