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Rehabilitate a Downtown Building

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there financial incentives are available for property owners who are interested in rehabilitating a historic building?

YES! Please see the resource section of this webpage for a list of financial incentives for investors who are interested in rehabilitating a building in Downtown Newnan.

Is there someone that I may meet with in person to discuss rehabilitating a building in Downtown Newnan?

YES! Main Street Newnan offers free project consultation by appointment.

We encourage you to contact us at 770-253-8283 or Mainstreetnewnan@cityofnewnan.org

Is the structure within the legal boundaries of the Newnan Commercial National Register District? If so, is the property considered “contributing” to the significance of the district?

If so, there are financial incentives that are available for the rehabilitations of properties located within a National Register Historic District (see Resources page).

Are there restrictions for renovating buildings in Downtown Newnan that are considered “historical”?

There are no regulatory locally designated “historic districts” in Newnan, there are several National Register Historic Districts in and around Downtown Newnan that are also not “regulatory”. However, there are zoning overlays that relate to historic properties. Property owners must obtain permission from the City of Newnan’s Planning Commission to make major changes to structures located within these areas.

Can I start my project without consulting the City of Newnan?

If you are altering the exterior of any building in Downtown Newnan, or modifying any major interior spaces of the building, you must contact the City of Newnan’s Planning and Zoning Department, and the Building Department.

Who do I need to contact to get started?

  • Directly contact the City of Newnan’s Building department before beginning any project that involves removing or replacing materials. Each project is unique, and may require a variety of different permits forms based on the scope of work.
  • Contact the City of Newnan’s planning and Zoning Department to see if your project requires a Certificate of Appropriateness

What are the consequences if I decide to proceed without obtaining these documents?

  • The City of Newnan’s Code Enforcement will place an order to “stop work” on your project. You will then be required to obtain the necessary legal documents to complete your project, and you may be liable for paying fines that are related to the impact of your unauthorized work.
  • City officials do pay close attention to “weekend work”.

You will need to go before the City of Newnan’s Planning Commission to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) if:

  • A reconstruction or alteration of the size, shape and façade of a historic property, including relocation of any doors or windows or removal or alteration of any architectural features, details, or elements;
  • Demolition or relocation of a historic structure
  • Commencement of excavation for construction purposes
  • A change in location of advertising that is visible from the public right-of-way; or
  • The erection, alteration, restoration, or removal of any building or structure within the downtown district, including walls, fences, steps, and pavements or other appurtenant features.

The ordinary maintenance or repair of any exterior architectural or environmental feature in or on a historic property to correct deterioration, decay, or to sustain the existing form, and does not involve a material change in design, material or outer appearance, does NOT require a Certificate of Appropriateness.

What is a COA? What process does this entail?

  • An approved Certificate of Appropriateness is a document stating that the proposed work is appropriate for the structure located in downtown Newnan, and meets local code criteria that is applicable to the district by the City of Newnan’s Planning Commission.
  • COA applications typically take about 1 month to process if the design is appropriate.
  • Applicants should fill out the COA form, and submit all the requirements that are mentioned within the application package. The City of Newnan’s Planning and Zoning department will review the form, and consultant the applicant about the project. The final COA report will be presented to the City of Newnan’s Planning and Zoning Commission for approval. If the design is approved, and applicant has obtained any necessary documentation required by The City of Newnan’s Building Department, then the project may begin. Otherwise, the applicant will need to modify their plan, and resubmit an updated COA.


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