A Site Alteration Permit (PDF) (SAP) is required for any alteration of a designated Heritage Preservation Site. The SAP is required in addition to any other city permits (i.e., a building permit) that are required. There is no fee for a site alteration permit.
After completing the permit application, file it at City Hall along with detailed plans, site plans, elevations, and all other materials necessary to evaluate the request. Your request for an SAP will be put on the agenda to be considered at the next Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) meeting. The city staff will supply copies of your permit application and supporting materials to the commissioners in advance of the meeting.
At the meeting, the commissioners will discuss your how your intended work does or does not comply with the city's ordinances concerning heritage preservation. It is often helpful if you or your representative, architect, or designer is present at the meeting to answer questions, but this is not a requirement. If the HPC cannot evaluate your permit application due to incomplete documentation, your permit application will be continued until the next meeting. In order to keep this from happening, make sure to:
Fill out the application completely. Answering "we don't know yet" or "to be determined later" doesn't help the commission understand what the final outcome of your project will be.
Have legible supporting documentation, and make sure that plans and/or elevations are large enough so that the dimensions be easily read. It is not necessary to have drawings prepared by an architect, designer, or draftsman. Legible sketches are acceptable as long as they clearly show what changes are being made and exactly what the building will look like when the work is complete. Having a vague idea of what you want to do and hoping to figure out the details as you go along is not acceptable.
Have photographs or drawings of specific products that you have chosen. For example, if you are installing a new garage door it is helpful to have a photograph, catalog page, brochure, or drawing showing exactly what the door will look like. Having the manufacturer's name and a model number, or a vague description such as "traditional door" isn't helpful to the commissioners. They need to see what the product looks like.
Application Rejection or Approval
Once your permit application has been reviewed by the HPC, they will vote on whether or not to approve your application, or to ask for more information and continue your application until a later date. If your application is rejected by the HPC, you may appeal the decision to the City Council. The Council has the final authority over issuance of site alteration permits.