To apply for an HCOA you may pick up and return the application at the Building & Permits department.
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To verify whether your property is located in a Historic District, use the My Place tool. Search your property’s address and then use the information provided at the bottom of the screen. Scroll to the right to find the Historic District box. To verify if your property is a local landmark visit the Historic Preservation Resources & References page and search under Designated Landmarks.
No, original wood windows shall first be repaired and if that is not feasible, they shall be replaced with inkind material and inkind design. A Historic Certificate of Appropriateness (HCOA) is required. Please apply at Building & Permits. Include pictures of the existing windows and information pertaining to the proposed replacement windows.
Yes, storm windows may be added to windows within the historic districts if done according to the Design Guidelines. Storm windows shall be correctly sized to fit the window opening, including round arches. Frames should obscure the window behind as little as possible and should be full view or have the meeting rail match that of the window behind it. Storm windows can be wood or aluminum with a painted, baked-on, or anodized finish. The finish should match the window frame in order to blend into the surround as much as possible.
No, original wood doors should be restored if possible and shall be replaced with inkind material and inkind design. A Historic Certificate of Appropriateness (HCOA) is required. Please apply at Building & Permits providing pictures of the existing door and information pertaining to the proposed replacement door.
No, original wood siding shall not be covered and shall be restored. Typically, aluminum and vinyl siding are not permitted in the historic districts. If 51% or more of the siding is beyond repair or missing, the Preservation Commission will consider the installation of cement board that matches the reveal and texture of wood siding. Please contact the staff for additional information on siding. A Historic Certificate of Appropriateness (HCOA) is required.
No, replacement of non-original material still needs an HCOA. The Historic District regulations are not just limited to keeping the current condition of a property but require new changes to be historically appropriate and adhere to the Design Guidelines.
No, replacement of non-original material still needs an HCOA. Typically, aluminum and vinyl siding is not permitted in the historic districts. If still existing, the original wood siding underneath the synthetic siding should be restored. If restoration is not possible, the Preservation Commission has permitted alternative material, such as cement board that replicates wood. Please contact the staff for additional information on siding before beginning any work.
Roofs may be re-roofed with asphalt or fiberglass shingles if the original materials are determined beyond repair. Asphalt shingles in dark shades of gray, brown, or black are appropriate for the replacement of early asphalt shingles, which were found on many of the homes in the four districts that were constructed in the early 1900s. Roofs should have ridge vents rather than pot/mushroom vents as they are less visually noticeable. If pot/mushroom vents are necessary, they should be located on the rear rooflines, or near the rear for those front-facing gable homes. The vents should match the color of the roof. Gutter straps shall be located under the shingles. A Historic Certificate of Appropriateness (HCOA) is required.
You may file a report using the InfoAurora Portal under General Information – Miscellaneous Customer Services.
An HCOA is required for:
An HCOA is not required for alterations which do not affect the exterior architectural appearance of a property. This includes, but is not limited to the following: exterior paint colors, installation of landscaping and plant materials, interior remodels, minor maintenance and repair with no modifications.
Aurora has 4 locally designated historic districts. View the map.
Aurora has 4 National Register Districts. View the map.
The National Register of Historic Places is the official Federal list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture. Sites can have significance on a national level as well as a local, community level. The National Register is maintained by the National Park Service but is typically managed at the state level. In Illinois, the state level organization is the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
In addition to the honorific recognition, properties listed individually or deemed to be contributing to a National Register Historic District, may be eligible for Federal tax provisions. A 20% investment tax credit is available for income-producing certified historic structures that undertake rehabilitation work that adheres to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. This rehabilitative tax incentive is available to commercial, industrial, and rental residential buildings. For more information visit the National Register website.
Locally designated historic districts (Aurora has 4) and landmarks are not necessarily listed on the National Register. In general, properties listed on the National Register but not designated under Aurora's Preservation Ordinance, do not require the same level of design review that is required for locally designated properties.