Certificate of Appropriateness

Certificate Requirements

A Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is a permission granted by the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC), following a public hearing, for changes or alterations to the exterior of a structure, or for changes to certain site features, such as major landscape changes. The COA requirement applies to all properties located within a Local Historic Overlay District, of which the City of High Point has 3: Johnson Street, Sherrod Park, and West High Avenue.

Generally, a COA is required for alterations or changes to exterior features, such as architectural style, building materials, size and scale of the structure, windows, doors, new light fixtures, masonry walls, fences, decks, steps and pavement, as well as for all new construction and demolitions.

In some cases, a COA for Minor Work can be issued by the Planning and Development Department for projects such as: repairs to the structure or appurtenances using like (or matching) materials; installation of storm windows and doors; installation of gutters and downspouts; reshingling a roof (no structural repairs); and the removal of incongruous features such as aluminum awnings and carports, metal storage buildings, and vinyl or aluminum siding not original to the structure.


  • A Pre-Application Conference is strongly recommended prior to submittal, to determine whether a COA or Minor Work approval is needed, and to discuss the application and process.

Approvals or Permits Issued


  1. The applicant submits an application, supplemental documents and fee.
  2. Applications are assigned a Case Manager to act as the point of contact and assist with managing it through the process.
  3. Staff reviews the application for completeness and notifies the applicant of any deficiencies. Once deemed complete, a COA application is placed in review and scheduled for the next regular meeting of the HPC, if filed by the application deadline.
  4. A staff report is prepared and provided to the HPC.
  5. Public notice of the application is provided by first class mailed notice to the owners of all properties within the appropriate Local Historic Overlay District prior to the public hearing. No notice is given for Minor Work COAs.
  6. At the public hearing, the HPC will hear from the staff, the applicant, and other members of the public wishing to speak on the matter.
  7. At the conclusion of the public hearing, the HPC members will discuss and decide the application. Applications may be approved as submitted, denied, partially approved, or approved with conditions.

Submittal Requirements

  1. Completed Certificate of Appropriateness Application (PDF) submitted to the Planning and Development Department or online through Accela Citizen Access (ACA)
  2. Application fee
  3. Photographs, specifications, illustrations, material samples, color samples, construction plans, building elevation drawings, and any other information necessary to explain the complete project in enough detail for the HPC to render a decision.
  4. If submitting on ACA, attach a completed Board Action Application Signature Form (PDF).

Additional Information

  • COA applications are evaluated based on the Historic District Design Guidelines (PDF) and the special character of the local historic district to determine whether the proposal is compatible and congruous with the historic character of the district.
  • No COA is required for property within a National Register Historic District, unless it is also within a Local Historic Overlay District.
  • COAs for properties within the City of High Point that are designated as a Guilford County Landmark are issued by the Guilford County Historic Preservation Commission.

Expected Processing Time

  • Within 2 business days of receipt of an application the Planning & Development Department will determine whether an application is complete or incomplete.
  • If the application is incomplete, then the applicant will be notified within those 2 business days with a written list of application deficiencies.
  • If the application is complete, then it shall be considered submitted. 
  • Approximately 18 business days from the monthly submittal deadline to the hearing and potential decision.


  • Application fee is due at time of submittal
  • See the Development Fee Schedule (PDF) for specific fees
  • Payment types accepted: Cash, Discover, MasterCard, Visa and Check or Money Order payable to the City of High Point
  • Online (ACA) payment types accepted: Cash, Discover, MasterCard, Visa and E-check