Structures and Sites FAQ

Anyone may petition the Whitefish Bay Historic Preservation commission to consider the designation of a property by obtaining an application form from the Village staff. The application (PDF) is available at the Village Hall or online at the Village Website.

After receipt of an application, the Commission will review the application to determine whether the property might satisfy one or more of the criteria described in the historic preservation ordinance for designation. If the Commission determines that the property may satisfy one or more of the criteria, it shall notify the owner of the property, if other than the applicant, and shall invite the owner to attend an informal meeting with one or more members of the Commission to discuss the procedure for historical designation, the need for the owner's consent for any formal designation process, and the consequences of designation.

Only if the owner consents in writing to the potential designation of the property shall the Commission proceed to the formal designation process. Under this process, the Commission will review the application for accuracy and completeness based upon all available records and will prepare a written study report.

Applications for Properties


Applications for properties that already enjoy historic status on either the national or state register of historic places need only indicate such status and include information submitted to or available from either the National Park Service or the State of Wisconsin. Such properties shall be presumed to satisfy the criteria for designation in the Whitefish Bay historic preservation ordinance.

If after the preliminary review of a property the Commission concludes that the property may satisfy at least one or more criteria of significance, the Commission shall schedule a public hearing on the designation of the property in compliance with the provisions of the Ordinance. After a full consideration of the application and all other information presented at the hearing or in writing, the Commission shall vote to:
  • Designate the property as either a local historic structure or site
  • Request that the applicant amend the application or provide additional information, upon receipt of which, the Commission shall schedule another public hearing
  • Table the application for further consideration at a later date
  • Deny the application

Certified Property


If the Commission certifies a property as either a local historic structure or site, the Commission shall present to the owner a certificate and, if available, a plaque that might be affixed to the property at the owner's discretion. Upon its designation, the Commission shall also record notice of such designation with the Clerk-Treasurer of the Village for inclusion on the permanent record of the designated property.

In furtherance of its educational purposes, as provided in the Ordinance, the Commission may also maintain an inventory of properties that are of architectural or historic significance (known as the Architecture and History Inventory or AHI). To be included in the inventory, an application shall be submitted and reviewed by the Commission. Since inclusion of a property on the inventory shall not subject the property to the provisions of the Ordinance, the consent of the owner is not required.