Submitted by Carole Malakoff
Allegheny West homeowners and businesspeople: Are you contemplating exterior renovations to your property this Spring? If so, you may want to contact your Local Historic Review Committee. We are a group of residents and property owners convened by the City Historic Review Commission to review exterior renovation projects, to help property owners manage the building permit process, and to provide our recommendations to you, as the property owner, and the City Historic Review Commission.
Because Allegheny West is a City Historic District, all exterior work that is visible from a right-of-way, a street or alley, needs a Certificate of Appropriateness, and, depending on the type of project, possibly a building permit. Once you have a concept, idea, or plan, check the Allegheny West Historic Guidelines. These guidelines are posted on-line on the City HRC site. If your project fits the guidelines or is fairly simple and straightforward, such as painting, you may be able to get approval for a Certificate of Appropriateness “over the counter” at 200 Ross Street, Downtown. The person you will need to contact for this is Sarah Quinn, the City Historic Preservation Planner, (412) 255-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
However, if you are planning a more significant project, such as replacement of windows or doors, installation of a fence, porch, or addition, you will need to have a hearing before the Historic Review Commission. In the second instance, please contact us, your local committee. We will review your plans, make recommendations, and help you get through the process. To be put on the LRC’s agenda, contact Carole Malakoff, email@example.com.
Warning – Do not proceed with work without a building permit or a CofA! Property owners who have done so in the past have been cited by Building Inspection. Time and money had to be expended to resolve the situations, and projects were delayed.
If you have specific questions, be sure to attend February’s AWCC meeting. Sarah Quinn, the City Historic Planner will be there to talk about the process, guidelines, and answer your specific questions.