Renovation Requirements

Most homeowners have to make repairs or choose to renovate their houses at one time or another. Since Ridgely’s Delight is an historic district, any changes to the outside of your home must conform to the standards of Baltimore City's Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP). This includes windows, doors, steps and paint colors.

The Benefits of Historic Preservation

Maintaining the historic character of our neighborhood helps to promote the unique history and culture of Baltimore for the benefit of homeowners, visitors, and investors. Preservation translates into cost savings through tax incentives, business income from visitors and direct reinvestment in the local economy.

How Does the Approval Process Work?

It is important to get CHAP approval before you start any work because the city can fine you and/or force you to make expensive changes to comply with historic guidelines.

Ridgely’s Delight’s Architectural Review Committee (ARC) is available to provide advice on materials that meet the guidelines and where to buy them as well as the approval process.  If you want to know if your project requires approval, or if you need help along the way, contact our neighborhood CHAP representative at

Property owners should take the following steps before making any changes to the outside of their building:

  1. Start by submitting an Application for Notice to Proceed to Ridgely’s ARC.
  2. The CHAP will review the application and forward to Ridgely's Delight ARC for any comments and discussion.
  3. Please include in your application, any before photos or representation of the current condition along with any information about the requested change (color chip, manufacturer product sheet, contractor information, description of process to be applied, etc).
  4. ARC will strive to meet and discuss the application in 5 - 7 calendar days, and inform Baltimore City CHAP of their decision.
  5. If the substantive comments of Ridgely's Delight ARC are for approval of the application, then they will submit their comments to Baltimore City CHAP in a timely manner, indicating their approval with the Application for Authorization to Proceed, and copy the homeowner on their decision.
  6. If the substantive comments of Ridgely's Delight ARC are for denial of the application, then the ARC liaison will provide advice on how you can alter your project plans to conform to the guidelines.
  7. Your ultimate approval or denial will be issued by Baltimore City CHAP. In order for you to proceed, it will be up to Baltimore City CHAP to issue you the necessary approval for authorization to proceed.
  8. If Baltimore City CHAP approves your application, take the form to the permit office and pay the fees to receive your building permit, if necessary. Note that CHAP mails painting permits directly to you. If a building permit application is filed prior to historic design review, the application is placed on hold until CHAP completes its review.
  9. You are ready to begin work after receiving your permit.

Do I Have to Submit Any Documentation?

Major work, such as demolition, new construction, and alterations may also require a public hearing. CHAP conducts hearings once a month. Bring the following information to the hearing:

  1. Photos of current conditions on all sides of the property, including neighborhood properties
  2. Historic photos and images
  3. Professional quality architectural drawings including:
    1. Vicinity Plan showing the location of your property within the neighborhood
    2. Site Plan at no less than the scale of 1”=40’ that clearly shows existing structures and any buildings you propose to add or remove

Do Any Other Laws Apply?

Most new construction and building additions within Ridgely’s Delight also require zoning variances, and zoning hearings are held separately. Property owners must contact the appropriate City agencies to comply with all existing codes and law.

What Are the Guidelines?