The table of fees that was sent by the Office of Planning and Development is a list of all of the fees that MIGHT apply in a given Historic District in Memphis. To determine if those fees apply to a specific Historic District, one must consult the guidelines for that particular district.

If you consult the guidelines that have been proposed for Cooper-Young, you’ll see that the majority of fees spelled out by the OPD do not apply. Because Cooper-Young is an eclectic, diverse community, we proposed the least restrictive guidelines out of the guidelines for the 13 existing Historic Districts in Memphis. Referred to as “skinny” guidelines by one OPD 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
  • 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 (CoA or permit) are required.

To clarify this matter, we included Section 5.4, which states that “these guidelines shall not apply to ordinary repairs and maintenance.” Based on confusion regarding the table of application fees that you referenced, we also proposed adding a Section 5.8 at the Landmarks Commission hearing last month. Section 5.8 was approved at that meeting and will read as follows:

“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.”

The proposed guidelines focus primarily on demolition, new construction and major alterations to existing structures. Again, ordinary repairs and maintenance are excluded from the guidelines. The next public hearing, set by and before the Land Use Control Board, about the guidelines is at 10 a.m. on Dec. 14, in City Council Chambers.


Type of Work Fee Amount Examples
New construction $150 house
commercial building
commercial parking structure
Demolition $250 demolition of major structure
$150 demolition of minor structure
$100 demolition due to fire
Relocation $100 relocation of any building
Addition $100 any habitable addition
Major alteration $75 dormer addition (HP and HC districts)
Garage/Outbuilding $50 garage
storage building
other outbuilding
Fence $35 fence (new)
COA Renewal $25 renewal of an expired COA
Request of Authentication $25 No MLC approval required (ex. building permit)