Historic Preservation Committee
Listed below are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding the City of Oakland’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). This article is not a substitute for the actual HPC ordinance, which may be found in Chapter 420 of the Oakland Code of Ordinances. For further explanation of specific parts of the ordinance, please consult the City Administrator/City Clerk at 314-416-0026.
What is the Historic Preservation Commission?
The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) of the City of Oakland is a group of citizens appointed by the Board of Aldermen to identify structures within the City that have historic, cultural, archeological, architectural or aesthetic importance, interest or value that may make them appropriate candidates for nomination as historic landmarks. The members meet at least quarterly and their meetings are open to the public.
How does the HPC determine which structures are “historic”?
The ordinances of the City set forth criteria for the HPC to consider such as distinguishing characteristics of an architectural type, potential to be returned to historic appearance, identifications with significant people in the community, the identity of the builder or architect, architectural significance, unique location or potential to yield information important to history. The HPC undertakes surveys and research to determine if these criteria are present.
How does a property get nominated?
Properties come to the HPC for possible nomination through
submission of a nomination form by the property owner, the HPC or the Board of
Aldermen. The HPC maintains a list of properties that it is considering for
potential nomination as historic landmarks or districts which is posted HERE.
Property owners are given notice if their home is being considered for
nomination. If interested in being nominated, you may contact the City
Administrator/City Clerk at 314-416-0026 for a nomination form.
Do historic landmarks receive any special benefits?
Historic landmarks receive special recognition from the City including a plaque to display and assistance with researching the history of their home. It has been shown nationally that a landmark home may increase in value.
Will my property taxes automatically increase if my house is landmarked?
No. There is no mechanism in place whereby St. Louis County raises property taxes on a residence as a consequence of landmark designation.
Does nomination limit what a homeowner can do with their home?
Once notice of the nomination or potential nomination has been given, no application for a permit to construct, alter or demolish a structure or other feature of a proposed landmark or district may be approved while the City is considering the designation. There are time limits for the City to act. Once a home is designated as a historic landmark, a certificate of appropriateness must be granted before any demolition, moving of a structure, or new construction including alterations and additions involving the outward appearance of the buildings.
If a home is nominated, what happens next?
After a property is nominated, the HPC schedules a Public Hearing to determine if the property should be designated based on the criteria set forth in the ordinance. The HPC makes a determination in writing regarding its recommendation for designation, and sends that recommendation to the Board of Aldermen. Upon receipt of the HPC recommendation, the Board schedules a Public Hearing and then makes the final decision about designation. Homeowners receive notice of these hearings