HOD-S Learning Center


Understanding Overlay Zoning Districts

The majority of the properties in the neighborhood have a base zoning of Residential-10 (R-10). The base zoning includes standard rules for density, lot area and dimensions, building height, setbacks for buildings from boundary lines, etc.

The HOD-S is an overlay zoning that sits on top of the base zoning. It applies special rules that override several standard rules in the base zoning. The purpose of an HOD-S is to protect and preserve the historic character of a defined area with a significant number of historic resources.

Below is a list of changes that trigger the need for a review and a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA):

  • Demolitions
    • Demolitions cannot be denied, but they can be delayed for up to 365 days
  • Existing buildings
    • Changes to the façade of a building facing a street, including 50% of the depth of the building behind the façade
    • Horizontal and vertical additions to the primary building and separate buildings that are visible from a street.
  • New construction on an empty lot
    Reviews are not limited to what is seen from the street. The entire project is reviewed.
  • Yards and empty lots
    • Changes to the yard area between the street and the façade of a building
    • Changes between the street and the first 25% of the depth of an empty lot

Reviews and COAs are not required for the following:

  • Changes to the interior of a building
  • Changes behind a building that cannot be seen from the street
  • Routine maintenance
  • Exterior colors – paint and materials

Links to related information:

Special Approvals for an HOD-S

The Streetside Historic Overlay District (HOD-S) is frequently referred to as the “lite” version of a historic overlay district. Unlike the General Historic Overlay (HOD-G), the HOD-S only requires special approvals for changes that are visible from the street. Oakwood and Boylan Heights are examples of the HOD-G.

If you are doing anything other than routine maintenance to the front area of a property facing a street, you will probably need a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA). The level of review will depend on the scope of work – i.e., is it a major or minor work. A major work requires a review by the COA committee; a minor work requires an administrative review. Use the links below to get an in-depth understanding of the review processes.

Links to related information:

Tax Credits for Renovations to Old Buildings

If you plan on spending more than $10,000 to fix up your old house, you may want to consider applying for North Carolina historic tax credits. Yes, it will require some extra effort; but the economic benefits can be significant. For example, if you spend $100,000, you will receive $15,000 (15%) in tax credits that can offset your North Carolina tax bill.

If you have an income-producing property and plan on spending more than the depreciated value of the building, you may qualify for both federal and state tax credits. The federal and state tax credits are 20% and 15%, respectively.

To be eligible for tax credits, a property must be a contributing historic resource on the National Register of Historic Places. All properties in the Glenwood-Brooklyn HOD-S are listed on the National Register. Click on the third related link below to determine if your property is a contributing resource.

The tax credit program is administered through the NC State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).

Links to related information:

Getting Help

(Gaston Street) and (Filmore Street) have agreed to provide assistance during the phasing-in of the new HOD-S rules. Both are architects and are familiar with the rules related to the HOD-S. Fred was previously a member of the Raleigh Historic Development Commission (RHDC); Brandy is currently a member of the Raleigh Appearance Commission.

and are the contacts in the City of Raleigh Historic Preservation section of the Department of City Planning. If you require technical assistance with a renovation, contact Tania or Martha.

Upcoming Events

Watch for announcements about workshops that will help you learn more about COAs and the tax credit programs. We also hope to do some case studies of renovations in the neighborhood that have used tax credit programs.

Links to related information:

Q & A

If you have a question, send it to . Answers will be posted here.

Q: Does the HOD-S require me to make any changes to my property?

A: No, you only need to consider the HOD-S rules when you make future changes.

Q: Will the use of my property change as a result of the HOD designation?
A: No. The HOD-S is an overlay district and does not regulate land use. Uses allowed by the base zoning will remain the same.

Q: Can my request to demolish a building be denied?
A: No, demolitions cannot be denied. However, the RHDC may approve the request with a demolition delay of up to 365 days to allow time to explore alternatives to loss of the building.

Q: In a HOD-S, are alleys considered a public right-of-way?
A: For the purpose of the HOD-S, an alley is not considered a public right-of-way, so ‘streetside’ review does not come into play.

Q: Can I change the exterior paint color without a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)?
A: Yes. A COA is not needed to change paint color.

Q: Are all buildings in a HOD-S district subject to COA review?
A: Yes. All buildings in the HOD-S, whether historic or not, are subject to COA review.

Q: Do I need to obtain a COA if I am adding on to an existing building?
A: It depends. Additions that project beyond an existing building’s maximum front and side wall and roof plane envelope will need a COA. Those set back from those planes, and located behind the building do not.

Q: Are corner lots reviewed in the same manner that other lots are?
A: Corner lots are subject to more review because they are adjacent to two public rights-of-way. This is because the part of the building or yard that is subject to a COA will be larger since the measurements are taken from both streets.

Q: Are there any materials approved for use in the HOD-S district that can be used in place of deteriorated historic wood?
A: Some substitute materials have been approved for use in places where the historic wood was deteriorated beyond repair and the particular feature is prone to moisture. Currently approved items include: column bases and capitals, window sills, and lowest course of siding. In all of the cases, the substitute material had a smooth paintable surface and requires COA approval.

Q: Does the construction of a deck require a COA?
A: Most decks in an HOD-S will not require a COA due to their location. However, if a deck is proposed in one of the areas subject to review, such as near the front of the house or on the side, a COA is required.

Q: Does the replacement of a deteriorated shingle roof or porch floor require a COA?

A: No, as long as you use the same material and maintain the same design.

Q: What if the current windows in a house are replacements of the original Windows, does the replacement of a replacement windows require a COA?

A: No, as long as the new windows are exactly the same as the window you are replacing. However, if you are considering a different design, a COA is required.

Q: Is the front of a porch considered a façade?

A: No, the wall behind the porch is considered the façade of a building.


Routine Maintenance – Includes repair or replacement where there is no change in the design, materials, or general appearance of elements of the structure or grounds.