Architectural Review Board

Program Coordinator:
Caroline T. Swope, M.S.H.P., Ph.D.

Department Phone:
(256) 341-4968

Background and Purpose

The City of Decatur has two locally zoned historic overlay districts, Old Decatur and Albany. Living in these historic districts offers protections and benefits for property owners. Areas of unique charm and historic importance, these neighborhoods are protected by city ordinance. Properties within these two districts are subject to design review to ensure that proposed changes are appropriate to the district and the individual properties. Anyone interested in doing work to the exterior of properties in these two districts must have an approved Certificate of Appropriateness before work can start.

Municipal ordinance tasks the Architectural Review Board with reviewing permits for construction and demolition in the district (fences, exterior repairs, additions, new construction, etc.) and works closely with the Building Department. The Architectural Review Board is a five member board, with members who have professional or personal experience with architecture, building trades, or history. They meet monthly and are an invaluable resource in guiding property owners to appropriate solutions for their needs. The Architectural Review Board uses the adopted municipal Design Review Guidelines and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation for reviewing projects.

Exterior work within the two locally zoned overlay districts requires an approved Certificate of Appropriateness (CoA) before work can start. The Architectural Review Board is responsible for evaluating the CoAs, and meet monthly. CoAs that address routine maintenance (roofing, rot repair, rear fences, etc.) can often be reviewed by staff on a fast track basis. The application is the same regardless of which review pathway is utilized.

2024 Meeting Dates and COA Submission Deadlines

The deadline to submit a complete Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) and supporting documentation is fourteen (14) days in advance of the scheduled monthly meeting date. Please turn in all CoAs into the Community Development Department on the 5th floor of City Hall, or submit them digitally to .

The Decatur Architectural Review Board meets at the Decatur City Hall, in council chambers, which is located at 402 Lee Street NE. CoA hearings begin at 4:00 P.M. The property owner or a representative of the property must be in attendance at the meeting.


Meeting DateDeadline to Submit COA Application
January 11, 2024December 28, 2023
February 8, 2024January 25, 2024
March 14, 2024February 29, 2024
April 11, 2024March 29, 2024
May 9, 2024April 25, 2024
June 13, 2024May 30, 2024
July 11, 2024June 27, 2024
August 8, 2024July 25, 2024
September 12, 2024August 29, 2024
October 10, 2024September 26, 2024
November 14, 2024October 31, 2024
December 12, 2024November 28, 2024

For more information, please contact (256) 341-4968 or .