The Old Georgetown Act of 1950 (Public Law 81-808) designated the federal Old Georgetown historic district and established the requirement for design review of proposed projects in Georgetown by the Commission of Fine Arts. Under the Act, the Commission appoints an advisory committee of architects, the Old Georgetown Board (OGB), to conduct the reviews at its monthly meetings.
How to Apply
Make a submission for a concept or permit review, with complete drawings showing existing conditions and proposed construction and other required submission materials, in person at the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) Permit Service Center at 1100 4th Street, SW, 2nd floor, Washington, DC.
- Applications must be submitted at DCRA by the filing deadline, three weeks prior to the OGB meeting. Please check the OGB meeting schedule for meeting dates and submission deadlines.
- Include a printed copy of the completed Application and Referral to the US Commission of Fine Arts for Old Georgetown Review form with concept and permit submissions.
- Include a printed copy of the completed 9-page Construction Permit Application with permit submissions.
- To be complete, a submission must include all required submission materials for concept or permit review as appropriate.
- Contact DCRA for information about filing fees, hours of operation, and any other questions on the filing process at (202) 442-4589.
Upon receipt of the submissions, OGB staff may contact you to request additional or revised materials. Submit any necessary supplemental materials directly to OGB staff upon request. If a proposed project is insufficiently documented for review, the OGB staff may recommend that the case be denied, or may recommend that the review of the case be postponed until a later OGB meeting.
Depending on the scope, design, and previous review status of a proposed project, it will be either be reviewed by the Old Georgetown Board in its monthly public meeting, or reviewed by OGB staff and placed on the OGB Consent Calendar for approval by the OGB in its meeting. OGB staff will notify applicants whose cases have been placed on the agenda for the public meeting.
- Projects determined to be compatible alterations or previously reviewed projects consistent with the OGB’s recommendations may be placed on the Old Georgetown Consent Calendar, which is subject to approval by the OGB in its meeting. The draft consent calendar is available online the Monday afternoon (or next business day in the event of a federal holiday) before the meeting.
- Projects requiring review by the Old Georgetown Board in its public meeting must be presented by the applicant or applicant’s representative at the OGB meeting. The draft agenda is available online the Monday afternoon (or next business day in the event of a federal holiday) before the meeting.
The approved OGB Consent Calendar recommendations as well as the Board’s recommendations on cases presented in the OGB meeting are compiled into the Old Georgetown Act Appendix. This appendix is forwarded to the Commission of Fine Arts for consideration and approval at the next CFA meeting. The draft appendix will be available online the Friday afternoon before the CFA meeting. The OGB/CFA review of a submission is not complete until the CFA has approved the Old Georgetown Act Appendix.
When a project is approved in concept, it is returned to the District with the OGB/CFA’s recommendations for the development of the design in preparation for a permit submission. A concept approval is not sufficient to obtain a permit for the proposed work. A separate permit application must be submitted to DCRA for review by the OGB.
If a project is not approved in concept, applicants may submit a new concept application to DCRA for review in a future OGB meeting, with design revisions that respond to the Board’s recommendations.
When a project is approved for permit, it is returned to the District with the OGB/CFA’s recommendation for the issuance of a permit. All submissions are sent to the D.C. Historic Preservation Office (HPO), and applicants may pick up their submissions from HPO staff the week following the CFA meeting to continue with the DCRA permitting process. Contact HPO staff at (202) 442-8800 to arrange to pick up a submission.
If a project is not approved for permit, OGB staff will return the submission to the District with this recommendation. The applicant may submit a new permit application to DCRA for review in a future OGB meeting, with design revisions that respond to the Board’s recommendations.