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Owego Historic Preservation Commission

Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) Application Instructions:
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Historic District property owners do not need to apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness if the proposed work does not require a Village Building Permit and is considered “routine maintenance” or “replacement/repair in kind”. This kind of work uses the same material type, texture, and detailing etc. to complete the goals of the planned project. Property owners do not need to have color choices reviewed. If undertaking routine maintenance or replacement/repair in kind, please complete the “Historic Inventory Record” form which will be entered in the OHPC archives for that individual property. Any project that requires the issuance of a Village Building permit must apply for a COA first (see below).

The COA Process:

According to Chapter 126 Section 11 of the Village Code, the OHPC is responsible for the approval or disapproval of proposals for exterior changes (seen from a public right of way) to historic properties in the designated Historic District. No person shall carry out any exterior alteration, restoration, reconstruction, demolition, new construction, moving or removal of a designated historic landmark or property in the designated historic district without first obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness from the OHPC.

The Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) at the Village Department of Public Works (DPW) will not be able to issue a building permit to a property in the historic district until a Certificate of Appropriateness has been issued by the OHPC. The OHPC does not review the internal work of historic properties.

The OHPC joins other Historic Preservation Commissions throughout the nation in following the criteria established by the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. These standards serve as the foundation of local guidelines which can be found on the village website.
The OHPC meets at 7 PM during the first Thursday of every month at the Village of Owego DPW annex at 20 Elm Street. Additional meetings are scheduled when the need arises. All our meetings are open to the public. Applicants should attend an OHPC meeting to discuss major or complicated projects with Commissioners before submitting formal applications for a COA. The deadline for submitting COA applications and supporting materials to the DPW is the 15th day of every month. Digital submissions are preferred.

The appointed volunteer members of the OHPC are dedicated to the protection of the entire historic district and its individual historic properties. The OHPC aims to be a supportive agency to help historic district property owners fulfill their goals. If you are interested in being a member of the Commission, contact the Mayor or the Chair of the Commission.

Please use the resources listed under the OHPC section of the Village of Owego website to assist you with your project and the application process.

Staff Contacts
Name Title Phone
Meg Gilbert Confidential Secretary (607) 687-1101

Frequently Asked Questions

Mark Trabucco, Chair of the OHPC @ 687-1889
Village of Owego, Department of Public Works @ 687-1101
1.) Repair or replacement of windows, doors, roof, or siding
2.) Porch repair or reconstruction
3.) Painting (color change only)
4.) New construction and additions
5.) Changes in commercial exteriors
6.) Signs
7.) Demolition
8.) Any changes to previously approved projects
The Historic District runs from John Street on the east to William Street on the west. It includes all of Front Street, most of Main Street and the side streets in between.
The building permit is issued by the Code Enforcement Officer of the village when any structural change is planned to an existing building or any new construction is undertaken. It is outside of the jurisdiction of the OHPC. An application for a building permit can be obtained at the Department of Public Works, 20 Elm Street, Owego, NY 13827. The Notice of Determination, on the other hand, is issued by the OHPC to an applicant in the historic district for an approved project. In the Historic District of Owego both a building permit and a Notice of Determination are required by anyone seeking to alter the exterior of a building. You must receive an OHPC certificate before seeking a building permit.
Owego is a village of distinctive architectural and historical character. People come from all over to see our charming historic buildings. We are fortunate to have preserved most of our architecture, but we also have lost many of our landmark buildings to fire, neglect, and progress. Since our historic appearance is one of the best features, we want to preserve it.
The National Register of Historic Places was established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. It is the official list of the nation's important historic properties. Listing on the National Register places no restrictions on private owners of registered properties. They may sell or alter as they wish, consistent with local ordinances. It does offer the benefits, however, such as federal rehabilitation tax credits. To belong is a matter of great pride for most communities.