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A Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is a letter approving or approving with conditions, new construction, redevelopment, reconstruction, expansion, alteration, relocation, changes in materials, or demolition of any property that is visible from the public right of way in the Historic Overlay District. A COA is required prior to the commencement of work and the issuance of a permit.
A Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) assures that your historic property maintains its historic integrity and that structures within the Historic Overlay District respect the historic character of the area.
A COA serves a two-fold purpose for historic properties. First, it helps ensure that the proposed work maintains the property's historic integrity and will evaluate the proposed work’s impact on the historic building. The qualities that make your property either architecturally or historically notable can only be maintained or enhanced when alterations are made according to universally accepted historic preservation practices. Second, it helps ensure that all structures within the “H” Overlay District respect the historic character of the area. That means that even brand-new construction needs a COA to ensure compatibility with the historic neighborhoods.
All proposed changes to the exterior of your property require consideration by the Historic Preservation Office. Some examples of changes that are subject to city regulations include:
Maintenance of your property is not restricted if it does not involve changes to the structure, materials, or features. It is recommended that you consult the Historic Preservation Office to make sure your plans are considered general maintenance and that you are using the best methods to preserve your building.
The Historic Preservation Office does not monitor interior changes or alterations, but encourages property owners to maintain interior historic features. Maintaining historic interiors enhances the historic value of the house.
The Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) information packet and application signature form are available on the Historic Preservation Resources webpage. COAs must be applied for via the Customer Self-Service portal on the McKinney Development Portal. The City’s Historic Preservation Office will determine if a COA is required for your proposed changes. Once submitted, the Historic Preservation Officer will review your application and answer any questions.
A completed application will include the Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) application and sufficient documentation which describes the project in detail. All COA applications are submitted via the Customer Self-Service portal. If you want or need to provide samples of new materials, please contact the Historic Preservation Office.
Include the following items per type of request:
The Historic Preservation Office will review your application once it is received. If the proposed work is in conformance with the requirements set forth in the ordinance, the Historic Preservation Office will approve. For more information on the requirements set forth in the ordinance, see Section 203.E.6 of the Unified Development Code.
If the project does not comply with the ordinance, the Historic Preservation Office will either approve the project with conditions or refer the application to the next available Historic Preservation Advisory Board (HPAB) meeting. The HPAB may approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application. Any appeal of the HPAB's decision will go to the City Council. Council's decision is final.
Note: If the project is in the Commercial Historic District, the Historic Preservation Office will approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application. Appeals go to the City Council with their decision being final.
Technically, yes. The McKinney Historic Preservation Ordinance does not regulate paint colors in the residential area of the Historic Overlay District. However, it is recommended that you don’t paint unpainted stucco or masonry (brick or stone). Should you want to remove paint from masonry, the Historic Preservation Office recommends that you not use abrasives, such as sandblasting or any other blasting method, but instead, consider a chemical paint remover.
Paint colors in the commercial area of the Historic Overlay District do require approval when changing colors. A Certificate of Appropriateness must be obtained for this prior to completing the work.
Typically no, as long as the materials and design are not changed. You do not need permission to paint, make repairs, or replace materials in-kind (i.e., replacing cedar shingles with cedar shingles, wood siding with matching wood siding, etc.). You should discuss proposed plans with the Historic Preservation Officer prior to commencing the repairs to make sure they are repairs and not work that would require a Certificate of Appropriateness.
All proposed changes to the exterior of your property require consideration by the Historic Preservation Office and are regulated by the City’s Unified Development Code, which uses the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Properties. These Standards are used to determine the appropriateness of treatments for historic homes. Some examples of changes that are subject to city regulations include:
Maintenance of your property is not restricted if it does not involve changes to the structure, materials, or features. It is recommended that you consult the Historic Preservation Office prior to beginning work to make sure your plans are considered general maintenance and that you are using the best methods to preserve your building.
Yes, however, the addition should be located away from public view to preserve the property’s historic streetscape appearance. The Historic Preservation Office requires property owners to meet with the Historic Preservation Officer during the earliest design phase of the project to obtain professional feedback and input on the design. All additions should be compatible with the scale, massing, and architecture of your property and compatible with adjacent properties. The Design Guidelines provide useful information to help property owners design sensitive additions. Additions must comply with the city zoning ordinance and building codes.
We recommend that owners confer with a qualified historic preservation design professional. The Historic Preservation Office staff is available by appointment to review preliminary designs. Please contact the Historic Preservation Office at 972-547-2000 to set up a meeting.
Yes, properties in the Historic Neighborhood Improvement Zone may be eligible for certain tax exemptions on City of McKinney ad valorem taxes.
The Neighborhood Empowerment Zone offers impact fee waivers for developing new residential and non-residential projects on vacant parcels in the zone. This program requires projects follow design guidelines to be compatible with the historically sensitive neighborhoods of McKinney.
Additionally, certain Downtown properties may be eligible for Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone funding. Visit the Downtown Development webpage for more information on this program.
The Customer Self-Service (CSS) portal will only accept PDFs of photos, drawings, and site plans. If your photographs are in the JPEG, JPG, PNG, or TIFF format, upload them using the "Other / Miscellaneous Info" tab.
Email us at Contact-Planning@McKinneyTexas.org or call 972-547-2000