Get a Special Certificate of Appropriateness (SCOA)

Are you repairing a historic property and need a 'special' certificate of appropriateness (SCOA)? If you have a historic property, and are doing new construction, demolition, or large repairs/alterations, you will likely need a 'special' COA, which requires approval by the Historic and Environmental Preservation Board.

If you are doing smaller repairs, you may be able to get an on-site staff review and approval for a standard COA

NOTE: We recommend that you go through this process before applying for a building permit, as the building application will be put on hold for the SCOA approval anyway. You also might need to make changes based on your board meeting, below.

NOTE: This process requires a review from the Historic & Environmental Preservation Board (HEPB), which can take up to two months and includes a fee based on the proposed work.


Contact a Staff Member for a Pre-Application Meeting

To discuss your options and ensure you are applying for the right certificate, you need to contact one of the below staff members, depending on your district.

  • Beverly Terrace Historic District, Lummus Park Historic District, Morningside Historic District, and Palm Grove Historic District, contact Christina Chiang at or 305-416-1393.

  • Prescreen of HEP applications including: Ad Valorem, TDD/TDR, Certificates to Dig, Certificate of Appropriateness, Special Certificate of Appropriateness, Checklists, and State Extensions, contact Gabriel Alviarez at or 305-416-1433.

  • Archaeological Conservations Areas, Demolition Permits, Downtown National Register District, Environmental Preservation Districts, Scenic Transportation Corridors, and Spring Garden Historic District, contact Adrian Espinosa-Valdor at or 305-416-1418.

  • Bayside Historic District, Buena Vista East Historic District, Coconut Grove Village West Multiple Property Designation, Riverview Historic District, and South River Drive Historic District, contact Andre Jackson, at or 305-416-1427.

  • Ad Valorem Applications, Demolition Waivers, Charles Ave New Construction, Designation of Historic Resources, Historic Districts, Multiple Property Designations, Transfer of Development Density (TDD)/Transfer of Development Rights (TDR), Miami Modern/Biscayne Boulevard Historic District, and Section 106 Applications, contact Ken Kalmis, or 305-416-1551.

Collect Documents

You will need many of the following documents in order to get this certificate.  You will be instructed which documents are needed during your pre-application meeting, above.  

View Checklist(PDF, 205KB) or see below. 

  • Signed application after entering information in ePlan (see below)
  • Signed Letter of Intent (Describe Nature of Application)
  • Proof of No Liens/Violations
  • Survey with BBL established by (Signed and Sealed within one year of application date). If you do not have this, Public Works will do this internally.
  • Context Map (for exterior restoration/alteration and new construction)
  • Site Plan (for exterior restoration/alteration and new construction)
  • Signed and Sealed Set of Architectural Plans, Floor Plans, and Elevations (11" x 17" showing existing and proposed work)
  • Landscape Plan (for exterior restoration/alteration and new construction)
  • Materials Page
  • Paint sample with manufactures color name and code (if applicable)
  • Renderings (suggested for large new additions. Required for new construction).
  • Applicable Secretary of the Interior's Standards
  • Photos of all Facades of the Property and Applicable Details
  • Complete list of all folio number(s) and property address(es) [Note: If all folios and property addresses have not been submitted online, please provide supplemental documentation detailing all additional folios and property addresses]. 

Prepare your Documents for Upload

You must follow a standard naming convention (i.e. each part of the plans must be titled a specific way) in order to upload documents or your application will be delayed. You should name your document properly now. 

These names can not change once they've been given.

View our naming instructions

NOTE: Any documentation prepared by a professional, that is required to be “signed and sealed” (see above checklist) will need a digital signature. Learn how to obtain a digital signature.

Apply for COA Online

  • You will have to create an Eplan account or login to an existing account. 
  • Select type "certificate of appropriateness-special certificate of appropriateness". 

TIP: You can name your application whatever you'd like, but we recommend that you include your address in the project name.

  • At the end, you will be asked if you'd like to submit your documents online. This is our recommendation.

    *If you hit "yes" follow the instructions below for submitting/uploading documents online.
    *If you select "no", because you need help with this process, you can visit the Building Department at 444 SW 2nd Ave, 4th Floor. 

Apply for COA Here

Upload Documents

  • After you have completed your initial submission, you will receive an email from prompting you to upload your documents. To do this, log back into the portal, and this time select "manage my existing projects". 
  • Select your project number, and go to the "applicant upload task" tab.  Be sure you have named your documents correctly (see above) and obtained a digital signature, if necessary. 
  • Upload documents and submit.
  • This is also where you can manage your project as the below process progresses. 

NOTE: Once you hit "upload complete - send to City of Miami", your ability to upload any more documents will be restricted until the completion of the City's application acceptance process. 

Modify Plans and Documents, if Necessary

You will likely receive an email with comments from the City, as plans/documents often require modifications. Address the comments/issues to the best of your ability. Once you have addressed the comments from reviewers, you will need to re-submit your revised documents(go to "manage my existing project").  

Revise your Documents

NOTE: You may modify the content of your file(s), but do not change the file names when you re-submit, unless you've been instructed otherwise.

NOTE: If there is no activity on the project in Eplan within six months, the application will be considered abandoned and you will have to start over. 

Pay Fees

You will receive an invoice, which must be paid before you can attend a HEPB meeting.

Pay Here

Prepare for HEPB Review

  • The preservation team will prepare a report about your project and whether they support the proposed changes. This will appear in your ePlan account and will be send to the HEPB.
  • If someone (such as an architect) will be speaking on your behalf at the meeting, they must be registered as a lobbyist (if they are being paid) or have Power of Attorney (if they are not).

Attend Your HEPB Meeting.

During your pre-application meeting, you will be given an estimated HEPB date. This date will be confirmed once your application is complete and you will be notified. You must attend the meeting before the board on the date you are given. 

  • When your item is called, the staff report will be read into the record.
  • You will be given the opportunity to speak about your project and the staff report.
  • The HEPB will ask questions if anything is unclear.
  • Members of the public will be given the opportunity to comment on your project.
  • The HEPB will then make a motion to approve the application, deny it, or approve it with conditions.

Respond to HEPB Decision

  • If your application is approved, you may proceed with the 'regular' permitting process.
  • If your application is denied, you can submit modified plans (see step above) per the notes you are given.
  • If the application is approved with conditions, the conditions must be addressed and then reviewed by either Staff or the HEPB.

Appeal, if Desired

If you do not want to make changes to your application, you can appeal the board's decision