Historic Preservation Commission

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The Albany-Dougherty Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) was established by the City and County Commissions to administer the Historic Preservation Ordinance, which was adopted in 1996. The HPC is made up of eight citizens appointed by the City and County Commissions, who meet the first Wednesday of each month to review proposals for exterior alterations, new construction, and demolition of buildings in the Local Historic District. Being in the Historic District does not require property owners to make any improvements to their buildings. However, when exterior work is desired, it must be reviewed by the Planning Staff to determine if it needs to go to the HPC for their review. Interior alterations, paint color and the use of buildings are not subject to the review of the Preservation Commission.

Owners who wish to make exterior alterations should contact the Historic Preservation Planner on the staff of the Planning & Development Services Department (229-438-3901). Maintenance and repair work often can be approved administratively by the staff, while other items must be reviewed by the HPC through the Design Review Process.

The HPC uses the U.S. Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation as the basis of its review. Locally adopted design guidelines are based on the guidance of the Secretary’s Standards. The overall goal of the local district and the design guidelines is to retain the distinctive and historic character of Albany without placing undue financial burdens or time delays on building owners. The guidelines can be used to plan an exterior renovation project. In addition, the HPC and its staff will personally assist building owners in the Historic District.

Board Members

Greg Fullerton, Chair City
Francis M. Wakeford, III, Vice Chair County
Lacy Lee County
Valerie Buchanan City
Rosemary Hamburger City
Deborah Riley City
Jay Ventulett County
Anne Wilson County

Design Review Process

Property owners are encouraged to contact HPC staff to discuss their projects to determine what level of review might be necessary. Staff can explain Albany’s design guidelines and the standards of design required for a planned project.

In general there are three levels of review in the Local Historic District:

  1. No review required-for interior changes and paint color.
  2. Administrative Review-this is a staff level review that does not have to go before the HPC. Items such as routine maintenance and repair can be approved administratively. Other minor changes that can be approved by staff include:
    • Roofing (retaining original design and material type), gutters, downspouts
    • Fences that don’t impact the historic character of the property; retaining walls
    • Backyard improvements, paving, decks & patios not visible to public right-of-way
    • Mechanical Systems
    • Windows and Doors within existing openings (No vinyl-retain original size/design)
    • Siding and masonry repairs using like materials
    • Porch rails, decking and skirting (retain original design)
    • ADA compliant ramps
    • Signage
    • Awnings and Canopies
  3. Review by the Historic Preservation Commission-the HPC reviews all major changes to the exterior of structures located in the local Historic District. Applications are discussed at monthly meetings (usually the first Wednesday of each month) and approvals are called “Certificates of Appropriateness” or COAs. The HPC makes every effort to work with applicants to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. The overwhelming majority of applications for COAs are approved with minor if any changes.

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