General Information
General Information
Historic Preservation Commission
Judy Decker
Historic Preservation Commission
Compliance Officer
Bruce Britton
Planning Board/Zoning Board
Board Secretary
Karen Keenan
Shade Tree
Connie Anderson
Environmental Commission
Meryl Nelson
643 Washington Street
Cape May,

Application Materials

Application Materials

Applications must be submitted using the prescribed forms and following the instructions. They normally require the submission of fees and supporting documentation as indicated on the application forms. The HPC staff reviews incoming applications and may ask for additional details before a submission is considered complete and ready for action. The HPC acts only after submission of a completed application for a proposed project, so failure to submit complete and correct applications can result in delay or rejection. If an application is found through the Commission’s process to meet the applicable standards, it will be approved.  

Application Packet


  • Application Form
    • Material Checklist
    • Proof of Payment of Taxes
    • Roofing/Siding Checklist, if applicable

  • Submission Materials
    • Background
    • Photographs
    • Architectural drawings
    • Technical documentation
    • Physical samples, if applicable

Refer to Design Standards for specific submission material requirements

Review Process

Types of Approval. 

The type of approval sought must be circled on the application. Consultation with the HPC Office before filing can help guide the choice since it is not always selfevident. 

Approval in Review (AIR). 

Applications considered to be minor, and routine are reviewed by a subcommittee of HPC members, and then ratified by the full Commission. These are called Approvals in Review or AIRs. These applications considered by way of review without a full hearing will always be considered Final. Applicants are normally notified by email or regular mail of the decision. AIRs are valid for two years from the date of approval. 

Full Commission Hearings. 

Applications for larger projects or demolition proposals are heard individually by the HPC sitting at formally called meetings normally held monthly throughout the year and become the subject of formal resolutions setting forth the HPC’s rationale for its decision and, in the cases of approval, a “Certificate Of Appropriateness” (COA) conferring authority to proceed towards a Building Permit. Normally a COA remains valid for two years from issuance. 

Applications submitted as “Conceptual” are understood to be seeking HPC advice on one or more aspects of design and/or materials (such as size, dimensions, proportion, scale, decoration, etc.) at a full commission hearing and will require re-submission for “Final” approval. This usually involves a second, abbreviated full commission hearing, assuming the application is modified to be responsive to the advice. Applications that will require Zoning Board of Adjustment and/or Planning Board approvals must be considered “Conceptual,” not “Final.” An HPC letter of Conceptual Approval will be sent to the Zoning Board and the applicant following the HPC meeting. Please note that Conceptual approvals expire after two years.  All demolitions require a Full Commission hearing. 

Applications seeking “Final” approval may only be submitted with complete sets of final construction drawings identical to those submitted for approval by the City Construction Department, together with all other required attachments, exhibits, and details. The HPC may grant approval to “Final” applications as submitted or subject to the satisfaction of specified additional conditions. In many cases, the satisfaction of added conditions may be demonstrated to the review committee and will not require a further hearing.


Potential applicants are encouraged to consult with the City’s Construction Office to obtain initial advice as to whether their proposed project requires submission to the HPC. However, the ultimate responsibility to submit applications (as well as their accuracy and completeness) rests with the applicants themselves. Accordingly, only the HPC can determine if an application needs to be submitted for a particular proposed project, so potential applicants should discuss their proposed project and issues with the HPC Office, regardless of interaction with other City officials. The HPC Office can offer guidance on properly completing and filing an application to avoid delay. 

Follow-Up Matters. 

Significant penalties and remedies may apply to persons for failure to submit applications when required and to applicants and their agents for misstatements and/or omissions in applications. The Commission follows up on conformity of projects through a Compliance Officer to ensure that projects are constructed in conformance to approved plans. The City may seek enforcement action against non-conforming projects, applicants, agents, and other responsible parties.