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Frequently Asked Questions

Under Federal Law, the listing of a property in the National Register places no restrictions on what a non-federal owner may do with their property up to and including destruction, unless the property is involved in a project that receives Federal assistance. For a Locally Designated property, owners must apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) and receive approval from the Historic Preservation Commission, for proposed exterior repairs, rehabilitation, alterations or additions. Generally, work will need to comply with the Standards outlined in the La Porte Historic Preservation Guidelines. Routine maintenance (repairs involving like materials with no change in appearance) require a COA—usually approved by staff within 24 hours.  There are no additional restrictions or approvals required for interior work (other than standard building permit requirements).

Multiple studies have been made of the effect of Historic Designation on property values and the results are definitive. Well-preserved homes in well-maintained historic districts have a significantly higher appreciation rate than properties in the surrounding market. The purpose of Historic Preservations Guidelines are to preserve the Districts’ historic integrity, which has the benefit of protecting property values for everyone.

The National Park Service maintains a research database that has information on how to look up properties. Locally Designated properties are listed on the City of La Porte website.