Living in an historic district comes with responsibilities. Any changes to the exterior of a property must have a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) from the Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) or the Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC). This does not take the place of required permits, but allows one to proceed towards the permitting process. Work done without a COA is subject to a $500 application fee and a Stop-Work order may be issued.
Let your Internet browser search San Antonio Historic Guidelines and you will find a very well-prepared site giving the guidelines for alterations to fences, walls, landscape design, residential streetscapes, sidewalks, driveways and parking. The guidelines are illustrated with photos of “This” and “Not This.” If you are not a computer user you can find a hard copy at most of our nearby public library branches and at the KWA office. A number of “Not This” landscapes have appeared recently in the neighborhood.
The KWA Architectural Advisory Committee exists to help guide neighbors through the permitting process. They can tell you if a plan meets the guidelines and can suggest alternate approaches if needed. Before you plan any alterations to your property, please call the office and ask to have your plan placed on the agenda. The committee meets twice a month and is here to help you.
- Anne Alexander