Tenafly Borough Hall, 100 Riveredge Road, Tenafly, NJ 07670    201-568-6100    HOURS: Mon-Fri 8:30am - 4:30pm

Construction or Rehabilitation to Historic Structures or Within Historic Districts

Are you doing exterior construction to an historic house or within an historic district?

If the answer is YES, you need to contact the Zoning Officer to determine if you need a Certificate of Appropriatness (C of A).

How do I know if my house is historic and/or if I live in an historic district?

Five private historic residences are listed in the Tenafly Historic Sites brochure available at Borough Hall. Also, Tenafly has three historic districts: the Palisades, Atwood's Highwood Park Historic District, and the Magnolia Avenue Historic District.

The Zoning Officer can inform you if your home is a contributing or non-contributing home. The Historic Preservation Commission welcomes informal discussion of projects at the earliest stage of planning.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where do I make an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness? Contact the Zoning Officer at 201-568-6100, ext. 5506 in the Building Department in Borough Hall.

What does contributing and non-contributing mean? A "contributing" house is significant to the history of an historic district. A "non-contributing" house is not significant to the history of an area.

What type of construction does NOT require a Certificate of Appropriateness? Any INTERIOR construction--as long as it does not affect the exterior.

What happens after the application is submitted? The Zoning Officer determines if the proposed change or construction is MINOR or MAJOR, and informs the Chairperson of the Historic Preservation Commission.

What happens if it is MINOR? If the Chairperson of the Historic Preservation Commission agrees with the Zoning Officer's determination, then the Certificate of Appropriateness is issued immediately if your home is a contributing structure. No Certificate of Appropriateness is necessary if you home is non-contributing.

What happens if the Chairperson disagrees? The Chairperson may request modifications to the proposed changes or construction, or the Historic Preservation Commission is asked to make a determination at its next regular meeting.

What happens if it is MAJOR? The applicant must comply with the ordinance which includes:
  • submission of all forms and plans as indicated on the application
  • notification of all property owners within 200 feet and proof that an official notice was published
  • a public hearing that determines whether the Certificate of Appropriateness will be issued 
This process is very similar to Planning Board applications and requests for zoning variances.

How do I obtain an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness? You may obtain an application form at the Building Department located in Borough Hall, or you may download a copy of the application here.