The Rigors and Rewards of Being “Appropriate”

In June of 1996, our City Council voted unanimously to designate Coleman Highlands as a Historic District. (KCMO Ord. 960559). Not only did this recognize the unique history and make-up of our neighborhood, with that honor it brought a layer of protection that would ensure this charm remains for generations to come.

The Kansas City Historic Preservation Office (HPO) and the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) oversee designated Historic Districts like ours through a design review of alterations that are visible from public right of way. This encourages quality design and ensures changes are complimentary with the character of Coleman Highlands. Review is required for all properties in Coleman Highlands Historic District. Does this sound complicated? HPO staff is available for questions about exterior changes on your home. They will advise on design review requirements, applications for Certificate of Appropriateness, and Commission hearings. Applications for Certificate of Appropriateness are submitted through CompassKC. Fees start at $26 for an administrative approval.

While some have complained about the extra steps needed for refreshing our homes, incentives for this protection are easy to see. Take a walk down any Coleman Highlands street to see history in place, architectural integrity a century old, and hundreds of reasons we love where we live. A ten-minute stroll will remind you why we take this inexpensive and measured approach to preserving our neighborhood.

To contact the Historic Preservation Office, call (816) 513-2902 or email . You can read more about the various ordinances applicable to Coleman Highlands here.

(submitted by Stacey Kenyon)