A Certificate of Appropriateness is what homeowners within a local historic district, or those with a historic overlay property, must apply for in order to make changes to their buildings. The Historic District Commission has the sole authority to grant or deny an application for a certificate of appropriateness.
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A Local Historic District is a geographic area within a community singled out for its architectural, historic, cultural or archaeological importance. National Register of Historic Places are historic properties worthy of preservation because of "a quality of significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering and culture...in districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects that possess location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling and association...with events that contributed to broad patterns of our history, with lives of significant individuals, with distinctive styles of architecture, or with information important to history or prehistory."
Learn more about the difference between local historic districts and national register of historic places.
The Historic District Commission is authorized by the town to oversee the local historic districts, create new districts and advise the Planning and Zoning Commission on issues related to historic properties. The Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich is a private not-for-profit organization that collects and preserves the cultural heritage and ongoing history of Greenwich. They do have historic preservation programs, but they are not a Town agency.
Generally speaking, a building must be at least 60 years old and retain a majority of its original features. Association with a significant individual or event is also a consideration.