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New COA applications will be online

Developers and homeowners seeking a Certificate of Appropriateness from Oxford’s historic preservation boards will soon be using an online application.

City Planner Judy Daniel told the Oxford Historic Preservation Commission Tuesday the new online application is set to be uploaded to the city’s website within the week.

“The IT people will be doing that this week,” she said.

Besides being online and more user-friendly, the new application will require applicants to provide more detailed plans for the renovation to homes and businesses within the historic districts.

The former application did not contain wording that told the COA applicant everything that is required to be part of the application package including detailed construction plans and materials being used.

Site plans should indicate property lines, setbacks, the location of the structure or proposed location of a new structure, accessory building, parking facilities, exterior lighting, fencing, landscaping and screening for utilities. The application must include photographs of the existing structure, or if new construction, a photograph of the lot and the adjoining structures.

The plans should show some type of drawings for proposed new structures and include all materials being used

in its construction and/or renovations to existing structures.

The application was reviewed by both the HPC and the Courthouse Square Historic Preservation Commission earlier this year. Commissioners suggested verbiage be added to the application that explains if the commission requires an architect, hired by the COA applicant, to make changes to the plans and that the architect fails to make those changes, the applicant is responsible.

The commissioners hope the new application will help homeowners and their representatives get their projects approved more quickly, rather than having to wait a month to return to the commission with complete plans, as one homeowner experienced Tuesday night.

Mac Nichols presented plans for some renovations to his home on Johnson Avenue that included new windows, a partial fence, gates, extending a brick patio, new gas lights and the construction of a greenhouse. The commission approved most of the application except for the greenhouse since he didn’t submit a drawing showing the materials and dimensions of the proposed structure. He will have to return in September with drawings for the greenhouse to gain the COA on that part of the renovations.

In other business Tuesday, the commission:

•Denied the COA for an office sign for attorney Josh Turner, saying the sign did not fit with the style of facade of the office. The commission tabled the COA request last month in order to give Turner time to change the sign; however, Daniel told the commission Turner wanted to use the originally submitted wooden sign. Turner did not attend Tuesday’s meeting.

•Approved the COA for an addition for a bedroom on property located at 1506 Johnson Ave.

•Approved the COA to remove an old shed in the back of the property located at 1417 Adams St. to be replaced with a wood deck.

•Approved the COA for a stair railing on property located at 712 S. 11th St.