About the Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board
The Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board (HPARB) protects and preserves the unique historic and architectural character of Cohoes? oldest neighborhoods, defined by the city's Historic Overlay District. The Dutch settled in Cohoes as early as the 1600s and the City incorporated in 1869. As a result, the City contains the architecture of several important eras that HPARB seeks to preserve in the interest of protecting existing resources and spurring economic development.
To that end the HPARB meets monthly on the third Tuesday to consider applications. These meetings are open to the public. Board members are volunteers from a variety of backgrounds, appointed by the Mayor. During the regular business hours of 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday the City Planner can provide guidance with the application process.
In addition, the HPARB posts design guidelines on the City website. The guidelines list architectural features, materials and methods of care to educate historic district property owners on how to maintain the property in a manner that increases the property value. Applicants can also download application forms, filing instructions, a schedule of filing deadlines and hearing dates from the City webpage www.cohoes.com.
As a side note, the HPARB does not have jurisdiction over use, occupancy issues, or zoning matters. If a project requires zoning relief, all necessary variances must be received from the Zoning Board of Appeal before the project can be reviewed by HPARB. Furthermore, this website is not a substitute for the advice of staff, nor is it a substitute for formal review of an application by the HPARB, as required by law. Instead, the HPARB advises contacting the City Planner for guidance through the process. Potential applicants are also welcome to attend the Board's meetings if they have questions prior to submission of an application.
Please Note: in order to obtain a building permit for proposed exterior changes to properties located within district boundaries, prior HPARB review and approval is required. An application form must be submitted to the City Planner to initiate the review process. Work performed without prior review and approval will result in the issuance of a violation.