Historic District Board of Review

Application process during COVID-19 Procedures 

The city of Madison announced Monday, March 16th that public access to city buildings would be limited to individuals who had appointments. To allow for easier access to submitting Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) applications for the Historic Board of Review, we have created an online form that can be submitted along with upload links for supporting documents. This form is available at HDBR Online Application Form. Application fees will be suspended until May 31st. Applications for demolition, new construction, additions, or moving buildings are still required to appear before the HDBR for approval. All other applications will be reviewed by staff. Please make arrangements to meet with Nicole Schell to pick up your notification sign. 

To review applications being reviewed by HDBR Staff go to Historic District Applications for Public Comment.

To provide comments on applications it must be done within 15 days of the posted application date. Comments received after will not be considered. To give comments go to HDBR Staff Review Application Comments.

About the Historic District Board of Review

The Madison Historic District Board of Review administers the Historic District ordinance, which aims to protect the oldest and most historic parts of the city of Madison. The district encompasses the entire downtown area from the "toe of the hill" on the north, the Ohio River on the south, and city limits on the east and west. 

Preparing for a Historic District Board Meeting

The board wants to be able to visualize the project by reading your application and its attachments and visiting the property. A complete application includes photographs, and often drawings, sketches, and/or product samples and information. Applications which are not complete will not be accepted. 

Thus, before you go to the board, please do the following:

  • Plan Ahead -  At the time of filing, staff will inform the applicant of the necessary application fee due and when signs should be posted on the property. The historic board meets on the fourth Monday of each month (except in December and when holidays interfere) and the application is due the first Monday of each month. The December meeting is on the third Monday and the application is due the fourth Monday of November. Complete applications are due by 4:00 p.m. to staff in City Hall on the legal notice deadline date.
  • Have a Plan - Please do not commit to a contract or purchase materials until you are approved. Know what you want to do before applying to the board, as you will be held to your application once approved. However, during the meeting, things can change. 
  • Take Photos of Your Property as it Exists - Take both overall photos and close up photos of areas that will be changed or that can demonstrate structural problems with the house.
  • Make Drawings of How the Structure Will Look - These drawings or sketches do not have to be technically perfect by any standard but should demonstrate your planned work.


About Historic District Board of Review