Established by Ordinance No. 17-27, the Historic District Commission works to conserve and enhance historic buildings, sites and neighborhoods, and encourage compatible rehabilitation and new construction through the review and issuance of Certificates of Appropriateness within local historic districts and designated landmarks. Click on the links below to view maps of historic districts and designated landmark sites/buildings in St. John the Baptist Parish. If you have specific questions about what you can and cannot do to a property within a district, please refer to the frequently asked questions below.
Historic District Updates:
In partnership with the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation, St. John the Baptist Parish recently completed a survey of historic structures fifty years or older across three local historic districts. After receiving grant funding from the National Park Service's Historic Preservation Fund, the Parish entered into a contract with R. Christopher Goodwin and Associates, Inc. to complete Louisiana Historic Resource Inventory Forms for 735 structures in the LaPlace, Reserve, and Garyville Historic Districts. Information collected on these forms include the approximate age of construction, architectural style or form, as well as descriptive narratives and photographs of the structure.
Building on recent forms completed for the River Road Historic (the Historic Towns of Edgard, Lucy and Wallace), this data can assist with the administration of Historic District standards, the design of future Historic District guidelines, and with citizen applications for historic rehabilitation tax credits. Further, the project helps solidify several years of work by both Parish officials and community partners to develop a comprehensive historic preservation program for the Parish.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)?
A: A COA is a formal approval letter issued by either the Historic District Commission or Planning and Zoning Department that certifies the proposed scope of work complies with historic district requirements.
Q: When is it appropriate to apply for a COA?
A: Applicants can apply for a COA at the same time as they apply for a building permit. The process involves filling out the COA Application Supplement here, in addition to standard permit application forms.
Q: When I get my COA, can I begin construction/demolition immediately thereafter?
A: No. Issuance of a COA does not constitute issuance of a permit. A permit will be issued once all other applicable local, state and federal codes are met.
A: 1. Demolition of a historic structure, if located in a historic district / designated landmark
4. Signs within design review corridors
Q: What is a Design Review Corridor?
A: "Design Review Corridor" refers to a smaller, commercial "Main Street" area mapped within a Historic District. In these areas, a COA is required for new construction, additions, and renovations to better ensure that commercial development along each Main Street is compatible with the unique character of the district.
Q: What is a Local Landmark?
A: Local landmarks are structures located either within or outside a historic district that are designated by the Parish Council for its special significance in terms of its historical, architectural, or cultural importance to the Parish.
Q: How does the Historic District Commission review/consider applications?
A: Both the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and the Louisiana Speaks Pattern Book are considered by the Historic District Commission when making decisions regarding a COA.
Q: How can I find out if my property is historic?
A: Each historic district is surveyed to determine if a property is historic. If you would like to know if your property is contributing structure of a historic district, feel free to search existing historic properties here or contact the Planning and Zoning Department.
Q: Will I have to renovate my residential structure?
A: Only in limited circumstances, when the alternative is the building falling into such disrepair that it can no longer be preserved. For example, when a historic structure is in disrepair and at risk of significant architectural or structural deterioration, the property owner may receive a notice that they are in violation of demolition-by-neglect. Upon receipt, the property owner should first attempt to repair and prevent further damage to the structure. If unable to do so, they should apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness before preforming any demolition on site. Demolition without a COA and permit can result in significant fines and penalties.
Q: How can I find out more about historic rehabilitation tax credits?
A: Structures within the historic districts and local landmarks may be eligible for historic rehabilitation tax credits. This program is administered by the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development Division of Historic Preservation. Please contact their office for more information at 225-342-8160.
Q: What are cultural districts?
A: In addition to establishing local historic districts, the Parish has also received approval from the State to establish four Louisiana cultural products districts, which provide tax incentives for historic renovations and the sale of one-of-a-kind art. Please contact the Planning and Zoning Department for more information about this program.
Historic District Commission 2020 Meeting Dates
|Month||Deadline for Submittal||Meeting Date||Agenda||Results|
|January||December 18, 2019||January 9||Agenda||Results|
|February||January 15||February 13||No Meeting||No Meeting|
|March||February 19||March 12||Agenda||Results|
|April||March 18||April 9||No Meeting||No Meeting|
|May||April 15||May 14||No Meeting||No Meeting|
|June||May 20||June 11|
|July||June 17||July 9|
|August||July 15||August 13|
|September||August 19||September 10|
|October||September 16||October 8|
|November||October 14||November 12|
|December||November 18||December 10|
|Jan 2020||December 16, 2020||
January 14, 2020
Historic District Commission Members
|Joy Banner, Chair|
|Bryan Oubre, Vice-Chair|
|Dana B. Wallace|