Property Improvements

The Architectural Review Committee provides informal assistance free of charge for Monte Vista Historic District property owners who are contemplating repair, maintenance or changes to the exterior of their properties and will be required to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness from the City of San Antonio. Meeting with the neighborhood ARC is highly recommended by the City as a prelude to submitting an application for review by the City’s Office of Historic Preservation.

WHAT IS A CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS? It is an official document posted at the property during the time when any exterior work is being done. It shows that the work has been reviewed and was certified to be appropriate for the historic property, as detailed in the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, the City of San Antonio's Unified Development Code and the Office of Historic Preservation’s Historic Design Guidelines. Monte Vista Historic District structures, as well as all of those in the other 26 historic districts in San Antonio, are under the authority of these rules. Note: some work items may not require permits, but DO require a Certificate of Appropriateness.

HOW THE MONTE VISTA ARC CAN HELP Professional architects on the committee can help to assure a successful project by previewing the plans that require permits and/or COAs.  Before scheduling an appointment for ARC, and before time, energy and resources are expended, briefly discuss the project with the committee chair Paul Kinnison at (210) 852-9831 or the Office of Historic Preservation at (210) 215-9274. Then schedule an appointment with the Monte Vista ARC, bringing everything that you will need later for a hearing with the Office of Historic Preservation— completed city application, samples of materials, color photos of the property, and sketches, if that pertains to your project.

TYPES OF CERTIFICATES OF APPROPRIATENESS Routine maintenance and minor repairs may be issued COAs by the staff of the Office of Historic Preservation after a simple administrative review. These are called Administrative COAs.  Requests for COAs for more extensive changes to the exterior of properties are sent to the Historic Design and Review Commission, which meets every first and third Wednesday of each month at 3 p.m., at the city Development and Business Services Center at 1901 S. Alamo.  This form of permission is called an HDRC COA. There are separate application forms for the two types of COAs.

APPLICATIONS FOR COA: IS THERE A FEE FOR A COA? No, not for residential properties, but there is a $100 fee for commercial properties for cases that go before the Historic Design Review Commission, and also a $100 application fee for signage. Administrative Certification of Appropriateness applications reviewed by staff may be submitted in person or emailed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  All other applications must be submitted in person. The OHP will not accept incomplete or faxed applications. All forms and applications are available online (see the links below) or at the OHP Office located at 1901 S. Alamo or on the OHP website.

WHAT FORM DO I NEED? Depending on the scope of work, you will either need to complete the Administrative Certificate of Appropriateness application (Admin COA) or the Historic and Design Review Commission application (HDRC COA).

Historic Design and Review Application Documents

City of San Antonio Guidelines for Historic Properties

MVHA and UTSA Guidelines

Through its relationship with the University of Texas at San Antonio School of Architecture, the MVHA Historic Preservation Committee has established certain Historical Preservation Guidelines for Streetscapes, Landscapes, and Colors.

Other helpful information 

Find helpful documents, publications and information about historic homes.

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Monte Vista Historical Association
PO Box 12386
San Antonio, Texas 78212