Historic Preservation Commission

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Meetings are generally held on the second Thursday of each month in City Hall Chambers, 102 North 3rd Street, at 5:30 p.m.

Calendar of Meetings


HPC Archive

Definition of Terms and Processes

Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) - Purpose

The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is a nine member board appointed by the City Council to "promote, enhance and preserve the character of the Wilmington historic districts." The HPC hears and decides requests for Certificates of Appropriateness in accordance with the adopted Wilmington Design Guidelines for Historic Districts and Landmarks.

Design review by the HPC is required for exterior alterations to properties located within the city's local historic districts and historic overlay districts in order to ensure compatibility with the historic character of the district. The Design Guidelines do not impose a particular architectural style, but encourage compatible design and congruity, whether traditional or contemporary.

Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)

Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is issued by the Commission for approved exterior changes to a property. Approval is based on the Wilmington Design Guidelines for Historic Districts and Landmarks.

Wilmington Design Guidelines for Historic Districts and Landmarks

The Wilmington Design Guidelines for Historic Districts and Landmarks provides guidelines which enable the Commission to act responsively and responsibly in reviewing design changes in the historic districts. It states the organizational framework within which the Historic Preservation Commission must work. It identifies Wilmington's historic districts and describes the review authority of the Commission in each district. It contains the local design guidelines which are used in conjunction with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. All Commission decisions on design changes are based on this document and the Secretary of the Interior's Standards.

Administrative Bypass

The Commission has an Administrative Bypass process which allows the Historic Preservation Planner to approve minor changes to properties.

Appeal Process

Appeals of Commission decisions are to the Wilmington Board of Adjustment. Appeals must be filed within thirty days from the date of the Commission Order.


Nine members are appointed by City Council to serve four year terms.

Commission Members

Staff Liaison

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