After more than a year and a half of meetings, revisions and public hearings, the Cooper-Young Historic Overlay application’s fate will be decided March 6, when the Memphis City Council votes to approve or deny it at their 3:30 p.m. meeting in Council Chambers, 125 N. Main St.

To view the proposed Cooper-Young Historic Overlay District guidelines and the proposed district boundaries, visit Because Cooper-Young is an eclectic, diverse community, we proposed the least restrictive of the guidelines for the 13 existing historic districts in Memphis. Referred to as “skinny” guidelines by one Office of Planning and Development employee, the only alterations that are covered in the proposed CY guidelines are:

  • New construction
  • Habitable additions to existing structures
  • Non-habitable additions to existing structures
  • Outbuildings and new fencing (this does not include standard backyard privacy fencing)
  • Demolition
  • Relocation

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. The guidelines do not apply to routine maintenance, change of paint color, installation of solar panels, or roof, windo and door replacements, among other things.

Those who wish to speak for or against the proposal are encouraged to attend the meeting and voice your opinions. If you can’t attend, you may email or call Brian Bacchus ( or 901-576-4241) at the Office of Planning & Development (OPD) stating the reason(s) for your support or opposition to the request for Historic (H) Overlay District. — Stephanie Gonzalez