Certificate of Appropriateness (Waiver)

To download this application, click here. The application fee is $110.00.

What types of projects qualify for a Certificate of Appropriateness Waiver?

When alterations, restorations, rehabilitations, and additions to historic resources and vintage buildings (constructed prior to 1941) are accomplished in substantial accord with the guidelines set forth in the City’s Historic Resources Ordinance, as determined by the Secretary of the Historic Resources Commission, a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Resources Commission is not required prior to the issuance of a building permit. Those alterations may include, but are not limited to, the following, if no significant change in appearance occurs or the proposed change restores period features:

  • Roofing;
  • Foundation;
  • Chimney;
  • Construction, demolition or alteration of side and rear yard fences;
  • Demolition, alteration or reconstruction of front yard fences;
  • Landscaping, unless the landmark designation specifically identifies the landscape, layout, features, or elements as having particular historical, architectural, or cultural merit; 
  • Demolition or alteration of non-contributing signs; and
  • Accessory structures or additions under five hundred square feet, when not visible from a public right-of-way, if the new construction is accomplished in accordance with the City’s historic preservation guidelines and does not destroy any significant architectural features of the resource.

If you think your project qualifies for a Certificate of Appropriateness Wavier, you are strongly encouraged to contact the Community Development Department at (562) 567-9320 prior to formally submitting your project.

Process

All requests for a Certificate of Appropriateness Waiver are reviewed by the Secretary of the Historic Resources Commission. This is an administrative review that does not require a public hearing. During the review, the Secretary of the Historic Resources Commission will evaluate how the proposed work is or is not consistent with the City’s Historic Resources Ordinance; if the work is consistent with Historic Resources Commission policies; would the proposed project adversely impact the historic integrity of the building or structure; would the project degrade the integrity of a historic district (if applicable); and, if the work qualifies under Whittier Municipal Code Section 18.84.180 for a Certificate of Appropriateness Waiver.

If sufficient details are provided with the project application demonstrating that a Certificate of Appropriateness Waiver is appropriate, based on the discretion of the Secretary of the Historic Resources Commission, the Waiver can be granted the day it is submitted to the Community Development Department for consideration. However, in some cases, a Certificate of Appropriateness Waiver Application may require greater review. Such review may take up to 10 days to process before a determination can be made.

If it is determined that a Certificate of Appropriateness Waiver Application cannot be granted, the applicant will be required to submit the requisite fee and file a general Certificate of Appropriateness Application for the proposed work. The project would then be subject to the review and approval of the Historic Resources Commission.

Findings

A Certificate of Appropriateness Waiver Application may be granted upon the Secretary of the Historic Resources Commission’s findings that the project, in whole or in part, will not:

  • Detrimentally change, destroy or adversely affect any significant architectural feature of the resource;

  • Detrimentally change, destroy or adversely affect the historic character or value of the resource;
  • Be incompatible with the exterior features of other improvements within a historic district (if applicable);
  • Adversely affect or detract from the character of the historic district (if applicable).