Certificate of Approval Process

  1. Contact the Land Use Enforcement Office at The Town of Bristol for an appointment. You can call 603.744.3354.
  2. In advance, review a the Historic District Commission’s General Guidelines for Design. These guidelines provide direction on signage, building exterior changes, and lighting, among other subjects.
  3. The Land Use Enforcement Office will determine whether the applicant’s project requires him or her to appear before The Historic District Commission for a public hearing for a Certificate of Approval.
  4. Should the Land Use Enforcement Office determine that a Certificate of Approval is required, the Historic District Commission recommends that the applicant appear first for a Preliminary Conceptual Consultation (PCC)to provide guidance to the applicant and assist in a smooth application process.
  5. The Land Use Enforcement Office can ask the Commission’s secretary to add the applicant to the next meeting agenda for a PCC. Click here for filing and meeting dates.
  6. After the PCC, the applicant will be required to appear for a public hearing before the Commission to obtain a Certificate of Approval.
  7. To arrange for a public hearing you are required to complete an application for a Certificate of Approval, provide a list of abutters to be notified and pay all applicable fees, details of which can be obtained from The Town Offices.
  8. As The Town of Bristol is required to notify all abutters of the hearing and is also required to advertise public hearings, the cut-off date for completed applications is approximately three weeks prior to the meeting date.
  9. When appearing for your hearing please bring all relevant information for the board.
  10. The board will review the application with input from the public and either approve or deny your application.
  11. If approved, you will be provided with a copy of The Certificate of Approval but as there is a 30-day right of appeal the Commission recommends that you do not undertake any work until after this period.
  12. If denied a Certificate of Approval, you have a 30-day right of appeal to the town’s Zoning Board of Adjustments (ZBA).