About Historic Preservation Commission
About the Historic Preservation Commission:
Historic preservation is vital to maintaining Jackson’s unique character and helps to insure quality construction that is compatible with existing neighborhood characteristics. The Historic Preservation Ordinance first adopted in 1988 and amended as needed, guides new development within local historic districts and alterations to cultural, architectural, archeological and properties which are local or state landmarks or on the National Register of Historic Properties. The local historic districts were identified and design restrictions were imposed after property owners within these areas agreed that this designation would be advantageous to your community. The Jackson Historic Preservation Commission was created to preserve, promote and develop the historical resources of the city and to advise the governing authorities as to the designation of historic districts, landmarks, and landmark sites.
The Commission meets once a month, on the second Wednesday of each month at 12:00 p.m. at 200 South President Street in downtown Jackson. This is a 9-member board, each serving 3-year terms. Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the City Council, and serve as unpaid volunteer municipal officials.
Additionally, the MDAH database is helpful for details and additional information for historic preservation.
Rehabilitation projects should adhere to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation as well as any local Design Guidelines created specifically for local Historic Districts. The Farish Street Historic District and the Belhaven & Belhaven Heights Historic District each have individual Design Guidelines which are available from staff.
Prior to filing a COA application form, applicants are encouraged to meet with staff to determine any modifications that may make the application more consistent with JHPC standards.
Certificate of Appropriateness Applications
Following the pre-filing meeting, the applicant should submit a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) application on or before the deadline along with a payment for $40, plus $40 per additional 5000 sft. Depending on the type of work proposed, certain supporting documentation is required which should include any of the following items necessary to explain and illustrate the project:
- Material Samples
- Manufacturer’s Specifications
- Plans, Elevations, Section Drawings
- Site Plan or Plot Plan
- Related City Permits
- Any Additional Material Needed.
Applications must be filed on or before the designated deadline, and a legal ad must be run at least 15 days prior to the Public Hearing.
Public Hearing and Design Review
COA applications are reviewed by the Commission at their monthly meeting and the applicant or their representative should attend the meeting to interact with members of the Commission. Any affected property owners have an opportunity to speak in favor of or against the proposed projects. Based on federal guidelines, the HPC applies its Design Standards and Criteria to all design review projects. The HPC may approve, approve with conditions or changes, or deny with reasons the application. Sometimes projects are not voted on at the meeting but sent to a design committee comprised of three or more members of the Commission. This committee meets informally to help applicants make appropriate changes to the project.
Compliance, Reconsideration, and Appeal Process
If an application is denied by the HPC and the applicant subsequently complies with the reasons for denial within six months after the decision is made, A COA may be granted. An aggrieved applicant may appeal to the City Council within ten days after the HPC action. A second legal ad is run fifteen days prior to the City Council hearing. The City Council may grant or deny the COA or remand the matter back to the HPC.
Routine Maintenance & Minor Work
Routine maintenance and minor work may be approved by staff via Compliance Agreement if there is to be no change in the design, materials, or general appearance of the structure of grounds. Replacement of roofs, facia boards and a small amount of replacement siding with identical sizes and types of material is an example of routine maintenance. A determination can be made at the time of the preliminary conference with staff.
Jackson’s Designated Historic Assets
The City has five local historic districts, four of which are also National Register Historic Districts. They are the Belhaven Heights Historic District, Farish Street Historic District, Morris Historic District, Medgar Evers Neighborhood Historic District and Belhaven Historic District. Fourteen individual sites have been locally designated and several of these are also on the National Register of Historic Places.
If you would like more information about historic preservation, try these sites:
- National Park Service: http://www.nps.gov/
- Mississippi Dept. of Archives & History:
- City of Jackson: https://www.jacksonms.gov/historic-preservation/
- Mississippi Heritage Trust: