How to Submit

The following steps outline how to submit Old Georgetown Act projects for Commission of Fine Arts review.

Please read all the steps before proceeding. 

Applicants are encouraged to consult with the staff as early as possible after a design project is initiated, as well as during the development of the design. To determine whether a prospective construction project requires review, contact the Old Georgetown Act staff at (202) 504-2200 or cfastaff@cfa.gov. Please provide the address and the square and lot numbers of the project site.

Prepare to Submit

The CFA reviews Old Georgetown Act projects in two stages:  concept or permit.

Decide if you are submitting your project for concept or final review, then gather the necessary drawings and materials for submission.

Make the Submission

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. Submissions will not be accepted at the CFA office.

If you plan to apply for a building permit online through the DCRA Citizen Portal and ProjectDox, you will still need make a submission in person, with paper copies of all required submission materials and complete permit documents, at the DCRA Permit Service Center for referral to CFA for review.

  • 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 Construction Permit Application or the DCRA-generated permit cover sheet 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.

Provide Additional Materials

This step may not be necessary and only occurs if materials are requested 

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.

Present Project to Old Georgetown Board

This step may not be necessary and only occurs if the project is placed on the OGB meeting Agenda

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 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.
  • 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. If your project is on the OGB Consent Calendar, you do not need to attend the OGB meeting.

Commission of Fine Arts Action

This step is necessary to complete the project review

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. If your project is on the Old Georgetown Act Appendix, you do not need to attend the CFA meeting. The OGB/CFA review of a submission is not complete until the CFA has approved the Old Georgetown Act Appendix.

Following the OGB meeting, some cases may be placed on the CFA agenda for review by the Commission of Fine Arts in its monthly public meeting. OGB staff will notify applicants whose cases have been placed on the agenda for the public meeting. Projects requiring review by the Commission of Fine Arts in its public meeting must be presented by the applicant or applicant’s representative at the CFA meeting. The draft agenda is available online the Friday afternoon before the meeting. Final digital presentation files must be provided to CFA staff no later than the Monday before the meeting. Presentation files will not be accepted the day of the meeting

Next Steps

Concept Approval: 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.

Permit Approval: If 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 the project was also submitted through ProjectDox, any drawings or other submission materials that were provided or revised during the CFA review must be uploaded to ProjectDox.

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.