Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)

The Historic Preservation Commission reviews alterations, additions, or demolition of structures that are located in the City of Opelika’s three Designated Historic Districts (PDF). A plan review must be completed by the Historic Commission. The proposed construction or demolition requires a Certificate of Appropriateness before the City will issue a building permit.

As a property owner in an Historic District, it is important to remember that prior to obtaining the necessary building permits for all exterior improvements, alterations, repairs, additions, demolition, new construction, signs, fencing or out buildings an Application for Certificate of Appropriateness (PDF) must be completed. Your COA will be reviewed for approval by the Historic Preservation Commission. You may view the guidelines for each historic district to determine if a COA is required. If in doubt, call Lisa Harrelson at 334-705-5155.

Work Requiring a COA

Examples of work requiring a COA are:

  • Demolition of a historic property.
  • Demolition or erection of a building or structure in a historic district. This includes storage buildings, garages, sheds, greenhouses, etc.
  • Fencing
  • Material changes in the exterior appearance of a historic property, structure, site, object, or work of art within a district. This includes windows, doors, columns, trim, decks/porches, chimney, roof pitch, sidewalks, driveways, etc.
  • Painting of original brick
  • Signage, awnings, and balconies

Fee Schedule

  • Administrative Review With Staff Approval: $10
  • Requiring Hearing and Commission Approval: $50
  • Retroactive Approval  $150 (first offense), plus Hearing and Commission Approval: $50
  • Retroactive Approval $500 (second offense), plus Hearing and Commission Approval $50


Application deadlines are strictly enforced. Applications must be in the Historic Preservation office no later than 4 p.m. on the day of the deadline. Partial applications will not be placed on the agenda until all necessary documentation and materials are submitted.