Certificate of Appropriateness

Most exterior changes in the historic districts need a Certificate of Appropriateness. The Decision Matrix determines if this is necessary, and at what level of review based on the historic district, status and scope of work.

Projects Requiring a Certificate of Appropriateness

These common projects require a Certificate of Appropriateness if the home is located within a historic district.

  • Installing a fence other than wood
  • Creating an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) with or without exterior alterations
  • Replacing windows, modifying their size, material, or style
  • Constructing an accessory structure that is 120 square feet or larger
  • Constructing an addition, porch, or deck
  • Removing a tree
  • Replacing siding
  • Making an exterior alteration beyond basic repair such as painting or replacing asphalt shingle roofing
  • Installation of solar collectors
  • Demolition of a primary or accessory building

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and anyone exploring a project should consult the decision matrix for further details.

Decision Matrix

What is Considered “Historically Appropriate” in the Historic Districts?

Historic Preservation staff and the Historic Preservation Commission utilize the Historic Preservation Guidelines to determine the appropriateness of work performed in Boise’s historic districts. The guidelines include descriptions of the historic districts and guidance for creating historically appropriate designs for new construction, additions, accessory buildings and exterior changes such as changes to siding and windows.

Please note: Homeowners should utilize the guidelines to design projects and make changes that are historically appropriate.

Historic Preservation Guidelines

Contributing vs Non-Contributing Status

Contributing homes are those properties that were present during the period of significance and possess historic integrity. Noncontributing homes were not present during the period of significance and/or no longer possess historic integrity due to alterations, disturbances, additions, or other changes. Noncontributing homes within an historic district remain subject to the Historic Preservation Ordinance.

To find out the status of your home, search Boise's Historic Surveys

Search Historic Surveys

Review and Decision

Depending on the historic district, status and scope of work, the Certificate of Appropriateness (C of A) will be reviewed at staff-level or hearing-level before the Historic Preservation Committee. Certificate's of Appropriateness that are deemed to be minor through the Concept Review process are reviewed at an Administrative level (Type 2) and major are reviewed at a hearing-level (Type 3).

Administrative Applications

Administrative applications are reviewed by staff and do not require a public hearing

  • Staff have 15 days to review the application.
  • Neighbors are noticed in the mail of the application and the decision.
  • There is a 10-day appeal period following the decision before a building permit can be pulled.

Hearing-Level Applications

Hearing-level applications require a public hearing before the Historic Preservation Committee.

Learn about the HP Commission

  • The application must be received by the cutoff date for the next public hearing.
  • There is a 10-day appeal period following the decision before a building permit can be pulled.

prepare for public hearing

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