Cooper-Young is proud to be a landmarks historic district in the city of Memphis. That means that there some restrictions on residential construction and updates. However, they are the least restrictive guidelines out of all of the 13 existing Historic Districts in Memphis. We believe these guidelines give freedom to the homeowner while retaining the architectural integrity of the neighborhood.
We understand this can be a confusing process. Homeowners approach the CYCA all the time with questions about how to get started on their new porch or windows. Therefore, we have created some FAQs to get you started. If your question is not answered here, you are encouraged to call or email us before beginning your project. Contact information can be found at the end of the FAQ.
What are the boundaries of Cooper-Young?
The Cooper-Young Historic Landmark District includes the area bounded by Central Avenue on the North, East Parkway on the East, Southern Avenue on the South, and McLean Boulevard on the West.
What sorts of projects do I have to get approved?
- New construction
- Habitable additions to existing structures
- Non-habitable additions to existing structures
- Outbuildings and new fencing
These projects require a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Office of Planning and Development.
What is a Certificate of Appropriateness?
A Certificate of Appropriateness is simply a document stating that the proposed work is appropriate for the historic district and meets criteria in the local code.
So what if I am doing something not listed above?
If you are not doing any of those alterations to your house, the guidelines do not apply, and no fees or applications for a Certificate of Appropriateness (permit) are required.
What are some examples of projects that do not have to be approved?
Certificates of Appropriateness are only required for the improvements described in these guidelines. All other improvements not covered by these guidelines, including, but not limited to: change of paint color, installation of solar panels and roof, window and door replacements, shall not require a Certificate of Appropriateness.
What is the process for obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness?
First, a homeowner consults the guidelines. If the proposed activity does not fall within the guidelines, no certificate is needed and no fee is paid. If the activity does fall under a proposed guideline, the homeowner reaches out to the Office of Planning and Development, which decides whether the proposed activity is exempt or needs a Certificate of Appropriateness.
If OPD decides the proposed activity is exempt, there is NO application and NO fee. OPD may be able to decide during the phone call, from email, or meeting. Otherwise, OPD will usually notify the owner/etc. in less than a week. If OPD decides the proposed activity does fall under the guidelines, the application and fee schedule on the Explanation of Fees chart apply. These applications are reviewed by MLC and review takes about a month. A schedule of fees can be found online from the Memphis Landmarks Commission and will vary depending on the type of work. These fees are minimal and range from $25 to $250.
Who are key contacts at the OPD office?
- Josh Whitehead – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Brian Bacchus – email@example.com
Where can I nerd out on all the guidelines and read more specifics?
Just click this link!
Contact the CYCA by calling 901-272-2922 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org