Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Heritage Preservation Board?
In accordance with Ordinance No. 1504, the Heritage Preservation Board (HPB) has been established to advise the City Council, City Manager and other City boards and commission on all matters relating to heritage resource preservation, protection and management. Click here to learn more about the Heritage Preservation Board.

2. Who are the Members of the Heritage Preservation Board and how are they chosen?
HPB members are volunteers appointed by the Mayor and City Council. Qualifications for appointment include residency in the City and demonstrated interest in and commitment to heritage preservation. According to City Ordinance No. 1500, board members may serve two terms of office, three years per term. Two student members (non-voting) serve on year terms.

3. What does the Edina Heritage Landmark designation mean?
City Ordinance Sec. 36-713 provides for the designation of any heritage resource, to include buildings, sites, districts, structures, and/or objects as Edina Heritage Landmarks, in recognition of the history, architecture, archeology or culture of the resource within the City of Edina.

4. Where are the Heritage Landmarks in Edina?
The HPB has issued a map showing the locations of all properties that have been designated or determined eligible for rezoning as Heritage Landmarks or Heritage Landmark Districts. Click here to view map.

5. What is the National Register of Historic Places?
The National Register, authorized under the 1935 Historic Sites Act and expanded under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, is the official list of buildings, sites, structures, objects and districts recognized as significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering and culture, and worthy of preservation.

The National Register is maintained by the National Park Service on behalf of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The primary way that properties are listed in the National Register is through nomination by the State Historic Preservation Officer. Although National Register listing provides some protection from development projects that use Federal funds, the regulations do not apply to private undertakings or to activities requiring state or city permits. In Edina, Heritage Landmark zoning follows and reinforces the National Register listing, extending the concern for preservation and protection to the local level.

6. How does Edina Heritage Landmark designation differ from the National Register of Historic Places?
The National Register was created by the U.S. Congress and is maintained by the National Park Service. Edina Heritage Landmarks are a form of overlay zoning created by the City of Edina to identify heritage resources worthy of preservation. The National Register regulations apply only to projects that use Federal funds—unless Federal funds are being used, there is no government regulation or community oversight of privately-owned properties listed in the National Register. Heritage Landmark zoning is enforced by the City in cases involving application for permits to demolish or move a landmark property, to construct a new building in a landmark district or to excavate in proximity to a landmark archaeological site.

7. What is a Plan of Treatment?
By ordinance, whenever the HPB nominates a property for landmark designation, a study is prepared by the City Planner that identifies and locates the heritage resource being nominated. The study explains how the nominated property meets the landmark eligibility criteria, makes the case for historical significance and recommends a “plan of treatment” to guide preservation work at the property. The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties guide the plan of treatment, which the HPB uses when making design review decisions relating to Certificates of Appropriateness applications.

8. What is a Certificate of Appropriateness?
A Certificate of Appropriateness, or COA, is an official City document required before any permit can be issued for demolition, new construction, moving a building or excavation in relation to an Edina Heritage Landmark. The COA affirms that, in the opinion of the Heritage Preservation Board, the proposed activity is consistent with heritage preservation standards and will not have a negative effect on any significant heritage resource. COA decisions by the HPB may be appealed to the City Council, but the appeal must be filed within ten days. 

Download a sample Certificate of Appropriateness.

9. If my property is located within a Heritage Landmark District, under what circumstances must I apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)?
A COA is required for construction of a new building anywhere within the boundaries of a designated Heritage Landmark District (such as the Country Club District). A COA is also required for any structural changes to street-facing façades and any demolition work that would precede new construction.

10. Is a Certificate of Appropriateness required for changes to the interior of a home in a Heritage Landmark District?
No. Nor is a COA required for home maintenance, repairs, exterior remodeling (siding, windows, doors) and landscaping, except in those rare instances where the subject property is owned, leased or controlled by the City (Cahill School and Grange Hall, for example).

11. What is the process for applying for a Certificate of Appropriateness?
A COA application form can be obtained from the Planning Department at City Hall. Once the application form is completed, the fee is paid and the supporting documentation is provided, the application package is reviewed by the City Planner, who prepares a staff report that is transmitted to the HPB with the COA application form. The HPB will consider the request for a COA at their next meeting and make their decision at that time.

12. How does the Heritage Preservation Board evaluate Certificate of Appropriateness applications?
The landmark “plan of treatment” is the authoritative guide for design review decisions involving COAs. The City of Edina has also adopted the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties to provide consistency in evaluating COA applications and to promote responsible preservation practices.

13. Are neighboring properties notified when an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness is being considered?
Yes. Whenever a COA application involves demolition of a primary building and/or construction of a new building, abutting and adjacent property owners receive written notification and are invited to attend the HPB meeting when the COA application is to be acted on. The HPB strongly encourages COA applicants to notify their neighbors of the work related to the application.

14. After a Certificate of Appropriateness has been issued, can the plans be changed?
No. Either the work described in the COA application is carried out according to the plans reviewed by the HPB, or a new COA needs to be applied for. All work that is done under a COA is periodically monitored and inspected by City staff to ensure compliance with City policies and regulations.

15. Does the landmark designation affect property values?
Generally, properties that have been designated Heritage Landmarks acquire additional prestige and distinction that is reflected in increased resale value. Studies conducted in other communities suggest that landmark designation may boost the resale value of a home by as much as 20-30 percent. The local market for preserved, historically distinguished homes and commercial buildings is very strong.

16. What is the difference between the terms “heritage” and “historic”?
The terms heritage and historic are used interchangeably in the City preservation program to describe resources of cultural value to the community. The City Code chapter dealing with preservation defines heritage resource as “Any prehistoric or historic building, site, structure, object or district that has historical, architectural, archaeological or cultural value to the citizens of Edina, the State of Minnesota, or the United States.”

17. What is the difference between the Heritage Preservation Board and the Edina Historical Society?
As the City of Edina’s official heritage conservation agency, the Heritage Preservation Board is responsible for implementing the Edina Heritage Landmarks program. The members of the Board are Edina residents appointed by the mayor and city council. The Edina Historical Society is a private, non-profit organization which operates a museum and provides various other educational services. In accordance with state statute, a representative of the Historical Society serves on the Heritage Preservation Board. While the Historical Society receives part of its funding from the City of Edina, it is an independent community organization and not an organ of municipal government.

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© 2016 City Of Edina, Minnesota