Historic Review Process
Historic Review encourages the restoration, preservation, and appropriate adaptive use of historic landmark sites and structures through review and approval of alterations to these properties.
The Historic Review process applies to all structures and sites within the Historic Overlay District  (a regulatory overlay district governing historic resources), which includes all properties in the Washburne Historic District , as well as all properties that are individually listed on the City’s Landmark Inventory.
Most exterior modifications, alterations, and repairs to the properties listed above require that the property owner and/or tenant follow the Historic Review process. These activities include, but are not limited to:
- Additions, demolitions, or alterations to a building façade;
- New construction of 1,000 square feet or more;
- Construction, modification, or demolition of accessory structures;
- Replacement of damaged exterior features;
- Removal or radical trimming of large established trees or vegetation;
- A change to a more intensive use (e.g. a change from a single family residence to a professional office);
- Replacement of windows or doors.
Please note that activities that would not damage the integrity of the structure, such as painting, roofing, and fencing do not require Historic Review, as long as the Historic Design Guidelines are followed in order to ensure the historic appropriateness of these modifications.
If you are not sure whether Historic Review applies to your project, please contact us.
- Pre-application Consultation
You are encouraged to meet with Planning staff prior to applying for Historic Review for your project. Staff will determine if a formal application is required, and if so, what type of application. Staff will also explain the review process and what is required for a complete application submittal. Staff may suggest that you meet informally with the Historic Commission for advice prior to making your application, as well.
- Application Submittal
The type of Historic Review application you will need to submit depends on the work proposed.
Type I Minor Alterations
Minor alterations are reviewed and approved by staff with or without recommendations by the Historic Commission. Examples of Type I Minor Alterations include, but are not limited to: construction, modification, or demolition of accessory structures; replacement of damaged exterior features with virtually the same material; façade changes to non-contributing structures in a historic district; and alterations not visible from the street.
Type II Major Alterations
Major alterations are reviewed by the Historic Commission, which makes a recommendation to staff. Property owners and residents within 300 feet of the property being modified are notified, and they may either attend the public review meeting to state their concerns or submit written comments. Examples of Type II Major Alterations include, but are not limited to: substantial alterations to the façades of contributing structures in a historic district; removal of large, established trees; and new construction of 1,000 square feet or more.
After filling out the Historic Review Application form and preparing all additional submittal materials listed on the application form, please submit the application materials in person at the Development Services Department in Springfield City Hall at 225 Fifth Street. Please note that a fee is required at the time of application submittal to help offset the cost of processing the application.
- Review & Decision
Your application will be processed and reviewed by staff and/or the Historic Commission as described above, and your application may be approved as proposed, approved with conditions, or denied if the application cannot meet the Historic Review Criteria.
After receiving a hard copy of the Historic Review Staff Report and Decision, you may proceed with your project, including seeking building permit approval, if applicable.
The final step in the Historic Review process is to submit photographs documenting the completed project for City records (staff can assist with this step, if necessary).
Please contact us.
 Historic Overlay District regulations can be found in the Development Code under Chapter 3 - Land Use Districts then to Section 3.3-900 Historic Overlay District.
 Historic Review Criteria can be found in the Development Code under Chapter 3 - Land Use Districts then to Section 3.3-900 Historic Overlay District.