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Page last updated on December 5, 2023 at 11:10 am

A Certificate of Appropriateness is required to make any external change to a protected structure in a Local Historic District and to move, demolish or build a new building in a Conservation District.


Design Review Process Graphic

How do I apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)?

If a property is located in one of the districts on the Historic Districts Map, it is subject to review by the Historic Preservation Commission through the Certificate of Appropriateness process. You can find the additional information about the historic and conservation districts, maps, and guidelines at Local Historic Districts.

For any questions regarding historic properties or local designations, please contact Gloria M. Colom Braña, the Historic Preservation Program Manager for the City of Bloomington, at (812) 349-3507 or


  1. No fee is required for submission.
  2. The petitioner must attend a preliminary meeting with staff of the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development during which the petitioner will be advised as to the appropriateness of the request and the process of obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness. This can be done in person, via the phone, or teleconference.
  3. Application for the Certificate of Appropriateness: The Bloomington Historic Preservation Map provides the historic district and historic building survey. You need to open the layers and click on “Historic Sites and Survey” to find the historic ratings which are color coded.
  4. Communicate with the Monroe County Building Department and the City of Bloomington’s Planning and Transportation Department in order to verify if there are additional requirements.
  5. In the historic districts listed on the bottom of the page, the petitioner should contact the historic district construction subcommittee and acquire their feedback as early in the process as possible.
  6. The petitioner must file a complete application that includes all of the required documents with Housing and Neighborhood Department Staff no later than fourteen days before a scheduled regular meeting.




Where do I go?

The petitioner, owner or a delegated representative must attend the Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission (BHPC) Meeting. The BHPC meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 5:00 P.M. in a hybrid fashion, at the McCloskey Room (401 N Morton St., Room 135) and via Zoom (with a link to be provided). The petitioner will be notified of the Commission’s decision and a Certificate of Appropriateness will be issued to them. Copies of the Certificate must accompany any building permit application subsequently filed for the work described. If the petitioner feels uncertain of the merits of the petition, they also have the right to attend a preliminary hearing, which will allow you to discuss the proposal with the Commission before the hearing during which action is taken. Action on a filing must occur within thirty days of the filing date, unless a preliminary hearing is requested.

Historic Commission meetings are scheduled the second and fourth Thursday of every month and are held in the McCloskey Room (135) of Showers City Hall at 5 PM. You or your representative should plan to appear to answer questions. 

Meetings are currently being held via Zoom. The link can be found on the City Calendar under Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission on the scheduled meeting dates.

Please follow the link below to view the 2024 schedule of Historic Preservation Commission meetings:


What do I receive if my COA application is approved?

A Certificate of Appropriateness is much like a building permit. It should be displayed in your window while work is in progress. If your work also requires a building permit from the Monroe County Building Department, the COA should be attached to that application.