Historic Preservation

Applications Forms and Fees

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​​​​​​​​Who should apply?

Owners, residents, contractors, and tenants who are considering alterations to a building that is in a historic district should contact Jill Thacher, at 734.794.6265 x 42608, or email [email protected] to determine whether a proposed change will require review.
There are two types of review: Staff Review (minor work) and Commission Review (major work). 

Staff Review

The Ann Arbor Historic District Commission has authorized staff to approve certain minor work items on behalf of the Commission. This is generally work that does not affect historic materials, or is a repair using matching materials in matching dimensions.  Staff reviews use the same application form as Commission reviews. Please attach information to explain the application, like drawings, photos, or cut sheets. The application fee for staff approvals is $35.

Applications must be submitted online using the City's new online permitting system STREAM​ (stream.a2.gov.org​). 

To Apply:

  1. ​​​Go to STREAM​ (stream.a2.gov.org​)
  2.  Click Apply 
  3.  Select the application for Historic District Certificate of Appropriateness - Staff Review (Minor Approval)​
  4. Follow prompts to complete the application. 
Contact Staff for assistance with applications. 

Commission Review

The Historic District Commission reviews applications for changes to the exteriors of buildings in historic districts, the construction of new buildings and changes to the site and landscape. Not all changes require Commission review; consult the Coordinator.

Applications for Commission review are available from the link below or from the Coordinator on the first floor of City Hall, PlanningServices. If you need additional information, please contact the Administrative Support Specialist to the Commission via email at:  [email protected] or 734.794.6000 x 42665.

Applications must be submitted online using the City's new online permitting system STREAM​ (stream.a2.gov.org​). 

  • To Apply:
  1. ​​Go to STREAM​ (stream.a2.gov.org​)
  2.  Select the Apply box
  3.  Select the application for Historic District Certificate of Appropriateness - Commission Review (Major Approval)​
  4. Follow prompts to complete the application. 
Contact Staff for assistance with applications. 

  • ​Completed applications must be submitted to the Coordinator by 5:00 pm on the deadline date shown on the meeting schedule in order to allow staff time to review the application and notify the public. All attachments, including drawings, materials information, narratives, photos, etc. and application fees must be included with the application. Incomplete applications will not be accepted or will be postponed to a later meeting date.
  • The Commission meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM in City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall. Exceptions are made for major holidays and are noted on the corresponding meeting schedule.  
  • 2021-2022 HDC Public Meeting Calen​dar​ (PDF)
  • Fee Schedule PDF)   
  • Historic Building Plaque Information and Application (PDF) - For those interested in purchasing a Historic Plaque for your property, click on this link and download the application for HDC approval before purchase. 

​Application Checklists

​The lists below show the minimum information required for most applications. Additional information may be submitted by the applicant or required by staff or the commission.  Projects may need more than one checklist, as applicable. Checklists are provided as a reference and are not required to be submitted with an HDC application, though they will be used by staff to review for completeness before or after a project is submitted. 

Staff Report

If Commission approval is required, staff will prepare a staff report for all applications that are complete and submitted by the deadline. On the Friday before the meeting, links to pdf versions of the staff report and the agenda will be emailed to all owners and applicants that provide one or more email addresses on their application.

Review Committee

The Monday before the meeting, Commission staff and at least two Commissioners will meet with you at the project site. This will be your opportunity to explain your case in person and on location. Staff will take photos and post a Public Hearing Notice on the site that is visible from the street.

The Commission Meeting

Historic District Commission meetings will return to in-person meetings in City Council Chambers on the fourth floor of City Hall on January 13, 2022. All visitors must wear masks in the building and throughout the meeting.

Hearings occur early in the agenda, following introductions and approval of the agenda. Applicants or their representatives are strongly urged to attend, both to present their information and to answer any questions that may arise.

  2. STAFF PRESENTATION – Includes brief description of the property’s location, historic district and history, including any significant changes to the original configuration, a summary of the application and any findings of fact.
  3. REVIEW COMMITTEE – Report and recommendation.
  4. APPLICANT PRESENTATION – Applicants are encouraged to testify on their own behalf and may bring such witnesses as may be necessary.
  6. AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION – Restricted to current case ONLY – 3 Minutes
  9. CLOSING OF THE HEARING – Followed by Commission discussion and action. Audience members may not speak unless rested by the Commission.  Action may include discussion followed by a motion, more discussion and a vote.

Following the Meeting

The applicant, owner and the Building Department will be notified of the Commission's determination. After a decision, you or your contractor may apply for the required building permits for your project from the Planning and Development Services Division. Staff will review work proposed on building permits to make sure it matches HDC approvals. 
Please remember: you or your contractor are responsible for obtaining building permits and for scheduling inspections. Any changes from the approved plans should be reported to Commission staff immediately. Failure to comply with the Historic District regulations may result in a fine and/or the owner being required to restore the property to its prior condition.​

​Plannin​g  Services

301 E. Huron Street
Ann Arbor, MI

Historic Preservation Coordinator
Jill Thacher
734.794.6265 x 42608 

Administrative Assistant to the HDC
Mia Gale
734.794.6265 x 42665