Frequently Asked Questions - Historic Resources

How do I know if my property is located within an historic district?

MapAsheville is a GIS tool for accessing information on zoning. You can search by PIN or property address. Use the tools at the bottom of the screen to find out more information on your property.

What is the difference between a local historic district and a National Register district?

Properties that are locally designated as historic are done so by local ordinance, and are subject to design requirements associated with the district in which it is located. Often times, properties that are located within a local historic district are also within a National Register district. Properties that are only located within a National Register district area that is not also locally designated as historic are not subject to any local historic district ordinance. Properties that are located within a National Register district as contributing structures, or properties that are individually listed, may be eligible for the Historic Tax Credit Program – you can find more information via NC HPO.

What is a Certificate of Appropriateness?

A Certificate of Appropriateness (CA) is a permit issued by the Historic Resources Commission indicating that in the opinion of the Commission and/or Historic Resources staff any proposed work is consistent with the design review guidelines for a given historic district. A CA is required for all proposed work on the exterior of a structure, alterations of a streetscape or landscape, all work that may affect archaeological resources, and all new construction proposed within a historic district.

A property owner who is considering any alterations to their property should contact Historic Resources staff regarding the design review process for properties located within a local historic district or designated as local landmark: (828) 259-5638.

What is the difference between minor and major work applications?

Minor work projects are reviewed by Planning/Historic Resources staff. Staff will refer minor work projects to the HRC if, in staff's opinion, the project involves changes that are substantial, don't meet the guidelines, or are of precedent-setting nature. Minor work applications typically include projects in which the visual character of the structure and/or site is not substantially altered, such as but not limited to signage, tree removal, roof replacement, minor building repairs and fences in rear yards.

Major Work projects are reviewed by the Historic Resources Commission at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting. In general, major work projects involve a change in the appearance of a structure and/or site that are more substantial than routine maintenance or minor work projects, such as but not limited to new construction, expansion of a building footprint, or significant changes to a landscape feature. Applicants for new construction projects are strongly encouraged to consult with Planning/Historic Resources staff at the earliest possible stage of the design process.

How do I find out more on the guidelines for my historic district?

You can find design guidelines for each district here.

What other permits are required for my project?

A Certificate of Appropriateness is issued for design review purposes only. To find out what additional permits might be required for your project, you should contact the Development Services Department at 828-259-5846 or visit their web page.

My CA is expired - do I need to reapply?

While a CA is only good for one year, work on a project must only begin within that year but does not necessarily have to be completed prior to the expiration date. If work did not begin prior to the expiration date on the CA, you will need to reapply.

Can I submit my CA application online?

Currently we do not accept digital application submissions. Applications can be mailed or hand delivered to the Development Services Department at 161 South Charlotte Street, Asheville, NC, 28802.

Is there a fee for design review?

Yes. Please refer to the Development Services Fee Schedule.


Contact Information

Historic Resources Commission of Asheville & Buncombe County

Stacy Merten, Director
Office: 828-259-5836

Alex Cole, Historic Resources/Planner I
Office: 828-259-5638

Location: Asheville City Hall, Fifth Floor, 70 Court Plaza
Mailing address: P. O. Box 7148, Asheville, NC 28802