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Historic Preservation Commission

The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) was created in 2009 in accordance with Unified Recommendation presented by representatives of the East Central Homeowners Organization, North Central College, Naperville Heritage Society and City of Naperville. The Unified Recommendation revised the Historic Preservation Commission's composition, scope and mission and changed the process and standards for Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) review for increased property owner satisfaction.

The Historic Preservation Commission is comprised of at-large representatives and owners/residents of historic district properties. Nine members serve staggered three-year terms and are supported by a designee of the Naperville Heritage Society (non-voting member) and City staff.

The Historic Preservation Commission  reviews applications for Certificates of Appropriateness; guides the development of Historic Building Design Guidelines and ongoing training activities that will be coordinated by city staff; and assists in reaching out to the community to create awareness of historic preservation and educating residents about available resources for preservation activities.

What Governs Historic Preservation in Naperville

In 2011, the City of Naperville adopted a new Historic Preservation Ordinance to coincide with the Unified Recommendation and to improve residents' ability to understand the code's implementation.

The Historic Preservation Commission also utilizes the Historic Building Design and Resource Manual that was adopted in 2010 as an educational document and a reference in considering Certificate of Appropriateness, or COAs. The manual encourages appropriate maintenance and renovations consistent with the historic architectural style, character, and scale of existing historic structures and neighborhoods.

Altering or Improving Historic Properties (COA Requirements)

The City of Naperville has three locally designated Landmark buildings and approximately 320 properties within a locally designated Historic District that includes part of the North Central College campus and approximately 250 residential homes. Visit the Historic District webpage to learn more about existing Landmark and Historic District structures.

For those who wish to modify or make improvements to a property that has been designated a Landmark or is located within a Historic District, in most cases a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) will be issued authorizing plans for exterior alteration, construction, demolition or material change of a property.

Consult the COA Requirements Table that lists the summary of requirements for a COA and its associated review process. There are three categories in which COA's are given and reviewed:


In some instances, improvements to a historical property will be exempt from the COA requirements, meaning that a COA is not required and, therefore, improvements to the property do not need to go through an administrative review or a Historic Preservation Commission review.

Administrative Review

Certain property improvements may meet requirements allowing it to receive expedited staff review and approval through the City's Fast Track Approval Process. Access the Fast Track COA Application Packet and follow the steps outlined.

Historic Preservation Commission Review

More complex improvements that are not exempt or don't meet guidelines for the Fast Track Approval Process will need to be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission at a public meeting. Access the Historic Preservation Commission COA Application Packet and follow the steps outlined.  

Please note: Regardless of whether a COA is required or exempt, a building permit may still be required; call (630) 420-6070 for more information.

To know which review process applies to a particular improvement project, consult the COA Requirements Table or contact Community Planner Erin Venard at (630) 420-4101 with questions.

Field Change Procedures

An improvement authorized through a COA shall be constructed in all respects in accordance with the approved COA. Any change to the approved COA requires additional review from either staff or the Historic Preservation Commission before the work begins through a field change process. Detailed field change procedures and a copy of the application form can be downloaded by clicking the link below:

Meeting Information

The Historic Preservation Commission meets bi-monthly at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A at the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St., unless otherwise noted. 

All COA applicants are required to submit complete applications at least 21 calendar days by noon prior to the scheduled commission meeting. A 21-day advance submission is necessary to provide sufficient review time for planning, building and Inspection staff; commissioners; and residents.