Commission of Architectural Review

The Commission of Architectural Review (CAR) is a seven member board appointed by Danville’s City Council to review all new construction, exterior renovations, and signs undertaken in the Old West End National Historic District. For the protection of the district and to maintain OWE property values overall, proposed changes to the exterior of any building in the district must be submitted to the CAR for approval.

The CAR bases its decisions on the Old West End Design Guidelines last updated in December 2014. The Guidelines apply only to changes visible from a public right-of-way (street or alley) and do not dictate paint colors. (Previously unpainted masonry cannot by painted.)

In return for a nominal application fee, the Commission reviews an applicant’s proposed work before the start of construction. Approval may be a two-step process. The Commission will first consider whether the proposed work fully meets the Design Guidelines. If so, a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) will automatically issue. If not, the Commission will then consider whether the proposed work will have an adverse impact on the structure or the historic district. If no adverse impact is found, a COA will be issued. This second step allows the Commission to authorize the use of alternative materials and other situations not anticipated by the Guidelines.

Commission decisions may be appealed to the City Council and, ultimately, to the court. This is a rare circumstance as historic district residents appreciate the property value protections afforded by the CAR.

The Certificate of Appropriateness is not a building permit. It is a prerequisite for obtaining a building permit in the Old West End.

For additional information, see the city website.