Historic Preservation Commission
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 City of Naperville Municipal Code requirements for Historic Preservation can be found in Title 6, Chapter 11 of the Code.
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. Along with the manual, the Commission references the Architectural and Historical Survey that was conducted in 2008.
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 COAs 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.
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.
Any request for demolition in whole or any partial demolition impacting the primary façade which meets the criteria provided in Section 6-11-8:2 of the Historic Preservation Chapter of the Zoning Title of the Naperville Municipal Code must submit a COA Application – Request for Demolition. This application is applicable to any Landmarked Properties or properties within the Historic District.
Please note: Regardless of whether a COA is required or exempt, a building permit may still be required; call (630) 420-6100, option 2, for more information.
To know which review process applies to a particular improvement project, consult the COA Requirements Table or contact
Historic Preservation Commission and Historic District Liaison
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:
All COA applicants are required to submit complete applications at least 28 calendar days by noon prior to the scheduled commission meeting. A 28-day advance submission is necessary to provide sufficient review time for planning, building and Inspection staff; commissioners; and residents.