What is the ARC?
CPHS’s Architectural Review Committee (ARC) is made up of Cleveland Park neighbors who have professional expertise in architecture, historic preservation, and related fields. The ARC provides the primary way for neighborhood residents to participate in Cleveland Park’s preservation and shape the future of its historic resources.
Does my project need to be reviewed by the ARC?
See this page for more details.
What is the process?
The ARC reviews conceptual plans for projects in the Cleveland Park Historic District after homeowners have made contact with the D.C. Historic Preservation Office staff and received a case number and preliminary design guidance from them, but before projects are heard by the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB). ARC issues advisory opinions on the projects it hears, and HPRB takes those opinions into account in making its final decision.
If you are considering work of any kind on your Cleveland Park Historic District property, please contact the D.C. Historic Preservation Office first. If the HPO staff informs you that your project will require HPRB review, then contact CPHS and we will put you on the agenda for our next monthly ARC meeting.
When you have been given a spot on the ARC agenda, we will ask you to provide the following materials in electronic form in the week preceding the meeting and to bring six hard copies of the same materials to the meeting itself. We prefer high-quality, 11″ x 17″ (minimum) printouts. We will keep one hard-copy set for our own records.
- A brief written description of the property and the proposed changes to the property.
- Existing and proposed plans of the entire house.
- Existing and proposed elevations of the entire house. Proposed elevations should have “cast shadows” or be otherwise rendered to convey three dimensions. Several three-dimensional views of the existing and proposed states are strongly encouraged.
- A site plan that makes it clear how the existing and proposed structures relate to the lot and property lines.
- Photographs of the house and surrounding context, including photos that demonstrate how any proposed addition will or will not be visible from public space.
- A report on consultation with the property’s immediate neighbors. DOWNLOAD THE NEIGHBOR APPROVAL FORM HERE: CPHS-ARC Neighbor Approval Form
In short, we welcome any materials that will help committee members visualize the project in its entirety, together with its impact on the neighboring properties and the historic context of the streetscape. Clarity in the presentation will help the meeting and review process move quickly and smoothly.
At the meeting, we will ask you or your representative to talk the committee through the project, explaining the rationale and design decisions, and answering any questions the ARC members may have. The discussion normally takes about 20 minutes.
Homeowners are welcome and encouraged to attend the meeting and may present the project themselves, but we strongly encourage the architect or designer of the project to be present and to make the presentation. If ARC members have design suggestions, all parties can then participate directly in the discussion.
The ARC is normally able to issue its decisions within a week after its meetings. We email the decision to the property owner and architect and to the HPO staff in time for the same month’s HPRB meeting. The ARC may request changes or further work on the design, which would require a followup presentation to the ARC. The ARC meets once a month and cannot schedule additional meetings between its regularly-scheduled meetings. Therefore, it is safest to allow two months to move through the review process.
When does the ARC meet?
ARC normally meets the second Monday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Park Congregational Church, 3400 Lowell St., N.W. See the left sidebar for upcoming meetings.
Where can I find design guidelines?
The Historic Preservation Office staff will assist you in developing a design that is consistent with historic preservation standards. HPO publishes design guidelines for properties in historic districts, all of which are listed here.
What if I have further questions?