Historic Zoning Commission

The purpose of the Sparta Commercial Historic District Commission is to provide best practices for the perservation and rehabilitation of historically and architecturally significant buildings within the Sparta Commercial Historic District. Historic zoning was applied to much of the downtown commercial district in 1988. Historic zoning enhances property values and helps to safeguard the heritage of the community for the education, pleasure, and enrichment of residents and vistiors. Historic District designation is also known as a historic overlay, which adds an additional layer of review above the underlaying zoning. The historic designation does not interfere with other codes and ordinances. The guidelines are administered in coordination with Title 14 Zoning and Land Use of the Sparta Zoning Ordinance.

Historic preservation is grounded in the premise that properties in Sparta's Commercial Historic District should remain vital and vibrate places in which to live, work, socialize and conduct business. In applying design review, the Historic Zoning Commission is responsible for ensuring that changes within the Sparta Commerical Historic District uphold the intent of the Guidelines. The Commission considers the potential impact of changes to one building or the character of the district as a whole, while encouraging owners to keep their properties in continued use.

The goal is to maintain the historic integrity of the original historic architecture of the buildings while allowing for flexibility to accommadate the evolving needs of business in the downtown area. 

The Commission references the Guidelines when evaluating applications for the issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA). The COA is an official document that property owners are required to obtain prior to performing any rehabilitation, new construction, or demolition in the historic district. The officially adopted historic district map delineates the boundaries of the district.

Property owners are encouraged to review the Guildelines prior to planning or initiation any exterior work on their buildings. A meeting with the City Staff when the project is in the planning stage is encouraged to identify any work that may be in conflict with the Guildelines and find appropriate solutions.


Guideline Booklet


Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)

Map of Historic District