The Process

In order to construct any exterior architectural feature or reconstruct, alter, or demolish any exterior structure or feature in BID No. 2, a “Certificate of Appropriateness” (COA) must be applied for and granted.

Completed Applications

The completed application must be signed by the property owner, accompanied by architectural drawings, pictures, color samples, etc. and submitted to the Historic Third Ward Association (HTWA) office by the deadline stated on the meeting schedule.

The Business Improvement District No. 2 Architectural Review Board Ordinance can be viewed at the end of this page.

Useful Documents

Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) Application 

Instructions for COA Application

2018 Schedule of Meetings and Submission Deadlines

ARB Bylaws and Procedures

Design Guidelines

Design Guidelines govern the allowable changes. Three documents currently describe the rules in the BID No. 2 district:

Download Signage Guidelines if you are only proposing signage changes.

Questions and submissions

Please direct all questions and submissions to the Architectural Review Board Coordinator. NOTE: ARB Coordinator works on a consultancy basis and does not keep regular hours.

Matthew Jarosz - Architectural Review Board Coordinator
c/o Historic Third Ward Association
525 East Chicago Street (new address!)
Milwaukee, WI 53202

The Business Improvement District No. 2 Architectural Review Board Ordinance

The architectural review board ordinance, adopted as Section 308-71 (renumbered now to be 200-61) of the Milwaukee Code in June 1991, provides certain kinds of legal protection for buildings or sites that are located within the BID No. 2 boundary and was approved by the City Council of the City of Milwaukee.

The purpose of this ordinance is to preserve the Third Ward's heritage, history, and its superb collection of period architecture, while encouraging innovative mixed-use development.

The ordinance is administered by a seven-member board appointed by the Mayor. The commissioners are dedicated Third Ward property owners, architects, historians, and other experts selected for their interest and skills in historic preservation and real estate development.

In brief, the ordinance provides that all properties located within the BID No. 2 are under the protection of the ordinance, and no changes that require a building permit may be made to the exterior unless the owner first obtains a “Certificate of Appropriateness” from the ARB. The certificate is the Board's written affirmation that a proposed change is sympathetic to the historic character of the property and is consistent with the intent of the ordinance and the approved design guidelines for the district.

View full text of the ordinance.

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