Historical Districts and Landmarks

Planning Historic


South Main 
Central Avenue
*All Identified on Zoning map

Historic Preservation Plan

In 1978, the City adopted the Historic Preservation Plan, a framework under which any variety of needs and interests involving historic preservation can fit into some course of action. This plan provides guidance and direction to the interest of preserving the heritage of Middletown.

Historic Properties and Landmarks within the City of Middletown

Any changes beyond ordinary repair and maintenance to properties in the historic districts that owners, agents or other persons or entities anticipate to make, should first contact the Historic Property Specialist to determine whether the work may, or may not require approval by the Historic Commission.

The structures which are designated by the City Historic Commission or National Register, as well as those located in the Highlands Historic District, the South Main Historic District, the Main Street Commercial District, Central Avenue Commercial District and, as of April 3rd, 2020, all properties designated in the Oakland Historic District, are considered properties which require approval by the Historic Property Specialist prior to the onset of work.

To preserve the character of those areas, the City has established reasonable development standards and design guidelines for buildings and structures within the districts, as well as the procedure which allows for a comprehensive review of the activities against the adopted standards and guidelines.

Any owner or person with an interest in property in an historic district shall not permit the property to fall into a state of disrepair, or allow deterioration of any exterior which could produce a detrimental effect upon the character of the historic landmark or district, or the life or character of the property.

Routine maintenance and repair to a property in an historic district does not require additional permits. Beyond that, the Historic Property Specialist shall approve, modify, or disapprove items considered minor modifications in the Middletown Development Code Section 1212.03. 

Minor Modifications Include:

  • Repainting existing painted surfaces, the same or similar color;
  • Replacement of doors, windows, the roof with similar materials, gutters, and downspouts
  • Replacement of building materials, such as wood trim, balustrades and siding, with the same material and in the same style as the original
  • Minor repair of exterior surfaces, such as caulking, masonry tuckpointing
  • Landscaping, including trees and shrubs, lighting typically used for landscaping, unattached to structures
  • Replacement of fencing: type and material required; a Certificate of Zoning Compliance is required upon approval
  • Re-paving existing impervious surfaces 

All other modifications or new construction is required to be reviewed and approved by the Historic Commission. Such approvals begin with the submission of a Certificate of Appropriateness

Certificate of Appropriateness

The purpose of the Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is to provide a procedure by which to review construction, renovation, expansion, and demolition projects within the designated historic districts, and specific structures as determined by the Historic Commission and National Register.

Under the Middletown Development Code, Section 1226.08, a Certificate of Appropriateness application is required to submit to the City for a permit for any change in the environment or the exterior of a building.

The application may be submitted to the Historic Property Specialist in the Planning/Zoning Department, and may be done at the same time as application for a building permit, if required, by the Building Department. A Certificate of Appropriateness and a Certificate of Zoning Compliance, if required, must be issued before approval of a building permit.

Review Procedure for a Certificate of Appropriateness

An owner or occupant of the subject property may make application to the Historic Property Specialist, in the Planning and Zoning Department, along with payment of a $25 fee, payable to City of Middletown. Additional documentation includes a site plan, photos, material samples, copies and description of proposed work, and anything that could best detail the project. Supporting documentation must be submitted within seven days of the COA application.

The Historic Property Specialist may approve or deny the application, or forward the application to the Historic Commission for a full board review. While the Historic Property Specialist will strive to expedite the process, it may take up to 30 days from the date the application is complete. If the Historic Property Specialist approves the application, a COA will be issued.

If the application is submitted to the Historic Commission, it will be reviewed during a public meeting; they will consider applicable standards and review the criteria.

  • A legal notice will be published at least 14 days prior to the public hearing, and

  • Property owners within 200 feet of the subject location, will be sent a written at least 14 days prior to the hearing, to submit comments if they desire.

The Historic Commission may approve, approve with modifications, table or deny the application within 45 calendar days of the completed application. The applicant, their representative or agent, is encouraged to be present at the meeting to converse with the commission if needed.

If the Historic Commission does not decide within 60 calendar days of the date the completed application, the COA shall be deemed approved, unless the applicant authorizes an extension of the deadline.

More detailed information, guidelines and requirements may be found in the Middletown Development Code in Section 1226.08 Review Authority and Procedures, Certificate of Appropriateness (COA).