Thursday, February 23, 2017Register

Solar, Historic Homes, and You

Innovation Avenue Case Study - Case Study done on Houston's own Innovation Avenue

Innovation Avenue

Installing Solar in a Historic Distric - Case Study done by Build San Antonio Green

Galveston's Green Revival Certification Program

For historic homes, an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) needs to be completed and approved by the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission.   There is no fee for filing a COA application and the Planning and Development Department’s Historic Preservation staff can guide you through the process. Houston highly recommends that applicants contact a staff member in the beginning stages of a project before any designs are finalized, and well in advance of an application deadline. Staff is able to offer technical assistance in order to ensure proposed projects are sensitive to the historic character of the designated site or district. COA Application and Checklists may be downloaded from the Historic Preservation Forms web section. A complete application includes a COA application form signed by the legal property owner along with the following documentation:


·         Written Description detailing existing conditions and the proposed activity


·         Current Photographs of the subject of the proposal


·         Application Checklist for the proposed action type and applicable documentation requested within the checklist


·         Renderings or drawings detailing existing conditions and the proposed activity, when applicable


·         Deed Restriction compliance, when applicable


Because the addition of PV panels falls under the “Addition, Alteration, Rehabilitation and/or Restoration” clause, additional information is needed including:


·         site and subject information


·         detailed description of proposed work


·         material description, specifications, and/or samples


·         criteria adherence


·         current photographs of subject of work


·         historic architectural evidence of authenticity, when applicable


·         site plan, architectural plans and elevations


A checklist is available here.


A complete application should be submitted to staff 15 days prior to the next HAHC meeting, which meets once a month. Because the commission only meets once a month, it is important to have the application complete and submitted on time or the project will be delayed. 


When the application is approved, any plans required to obtain a building permit will need to be reviewed and stamped by a Historic Preservation staff member at 611 Walker, 6th floor. Houston recommends contacting a staff to make a COA plan review appointment.



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