Building Changes that Must Be Reviewed

Only exterior changes are reviewed. These include but are not limited to alterations in siding or roof materials, new paint colors, erecting new walls or fences or making changes to existing ones, major landscaping changes, erection of signs, construction or alteration of accessory structures involving any part of a building that is visible from a street or public way, and demolition of structures (total or partial). The HLC uses a set of design guidelines to review and improve applications. A copy of the Suffolk District Design Guidelines can be downloaded for free on our website.

For reviews, an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness (PDF) must be filed at the Planning Division. The application must include a description and sample materials for all proposed exterior changes. Changes such as interior renovations and routine exterior maintenance do not require approval.

Types of Review


There are two types of review.
  1. Administrative reviews which are conducted by the Division of Planning, occur for minor exterior alterations such as painting and in-kind material changes. These reviews cost $35 and take approximately two weeks.
  2. Review by the Historic Landmarks Commission, which, meets on a monthly basis, is required for major alterations such as roof replacements, porch reconstructions, changes in materials, and all demolitions. This type of review takes at least 30 days and with a fee of $150.