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About the Old Georgetown Act

The Old Georgetown Act (Public Law 81-808) was passed on 22 September 1950. The Act defined the boundaries of Georgetown, and officially designated the area a historic district. The Old Georgetown Act also gave the Commission of Fine Arts the authority to appoint an advisory committee, the Old Georgetown Board, to conduct design reviews of semipublic and private structures within Georgetown's boundaries. The Board is comprised of three architects who serve without compensation for three-year terms. Their recommendations for concept and permit applications are compiled into the Old Georgetown Appendix and forwarded to the Commission of Fine Arts for final approval.

Submission Requirements for Concept vs. Permit Review

Concept Review provides an opportunity for the applicants to know what is acceptable at an early stage of design. The Concept approval will not issue a permit for the work. A separate Permit Application must be filed and submitted for review by the Old Georgetown Board and the Commission.

See also specific submission requirements for additions, alterations, site work and replacement windows.

Policy on Additions and Site Alterations to Structures in Georgetown

The Policy on Additions and Site Alterations to Structures in Georgetown was updated and adopted by the Commission of Fine Arts on 19 February 2009. The policy explains guidelines applicants should follow when planning additions or site alterations to their homes.

Deadlines

The deadline for an Old Georgetown Act submission to the District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) Permit Service Center, to be included in the agenda for the Old Georgetown Board meeting, is three weeks prior to the meeting date. A complete submission consists of an application for a concept or permit review and support materials. See the appropriate Submission Requirements link above for details.

Old Georgetown Act submissions are reviewed at the public meetings of the Old Georgetown Board. These meetings are regularly held the first Thursday of the month. Please carefully check the Schedule of Meetings for the dates of public meetings and submission deadlines. There is no meeting in August.

Recommendations

It is highly recommended, especially for new structures or large project submissions, that the applicant and/or their agent contact the Old Georgetown Act staff architect prior to submission to determine if there is any additional or special information that should be included in the submission.

It is also recommended that the applicant and/or their agent contact neighbors who may be affected by a proposed project prior to submission review. Letters of support from the neighbors can be made part of the record. The local Advisory Neighborhood Commission may be interested in a public presentation of the project so they can offer their comments to the Old Georgetown Board. Contact the the ANC 2E at (202) 338-7427 at or before the time of submission.

It is essential that the applicant or agent attend the Old Georgetown Board Meeting. Presentation boards (and models when appropriate) should be delivered to the Commission office two days before the meeting.

Contact the Commission to confirm receipt of submission the day after the deadline. The Old Georgetown Act staff architect will contact the applicant if additional support materials and/or additional information, are needed.

Presentations before the full Commission of Fine Arts

New building or large project submissions in Georgetown will require a separate presentation to the Commission of Fine Arts during their scheduled public meeting. Contact the Old Georgetown Act staff architect at the Commission to confirm and coordinate a required presentation. Presentation boards (and models when appropriate) must be retained in the Commission office after the presentation at the Old Georgetown Board meeting.

Old Georgetown Appendix

The Old Georgetown Appendix list is compiled every month and forwarded to the Commission of Fine Arts for review. The Appendix consists of recommendations by the Old Georgetown Board for projects reviewed at their meeting. The recommendations of the Old Georgetown Board become official recommendations of the Commission of Fine Arts during the full Commission meetings when the Appendix is approved.

Last Modified: September 22, 2010