Certificate of Hardship

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The Board of Historic Review makes decisions about whether to grant Certificates of Appropriateness for a particular project.  Certificates of Appropriateness are needed before a property owner may receive a building permit to perform work on the exterior of an historic property.

Whenever the Board denies a Certificate of Appropriateness for some reason, the property owner may request a Certificate of Hardship from the Board.  This allows the property owner to make the case that it is impossible or impractical to comply with the standards of approval required to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness for the project.

One reason that such requests go before the Board of Historic Review is so people who would be most affected by the approval or denial of a request (such as nearby property owners) may participate in a public hearing and make comments for or against the request before the Board decides whether to approve or deny the request.

A Certificate of Hardship requires an Economic Feasibility Analysis prepared by a Licensed Appraiser to determine whether the criteria for a Certificate of Hardship have been met.


While not required, a pre-application conference with the staff is recommended to review the detailed application requirements, including the Economic Feasibility Analysis, and public hearing process. To set up a pre-application conference, please call Janice Miller at 803-817-5129.

You will need to file the Certificate of Hardship Application form along with the required fees and attachments as noted on the form. Your application will be reviewed to determine if it is complete, and if so, it will be scheduled for Public Hearing at the next available Board of Historic Review meeting, based on the adopted Board of Historic Review Calendar.

A Staff Report will then be prepared reviewing the application and the Economic Feasibility Analysis and whether the application complies with the COH standards, which are also outlined on the Certificate of Hardship Application form. The Staff Report will also include a recommendation to the BHR, including any recommended conditions to help the application meet the COH standards.

The application will then be considered at the Board meeting after a Public Hearing. You or your representative will need to attend the Board meeting and explain the details for your hardship and answer questions. Decisions of the Board are final, but can be appealed within 30 days to the Circuit Court. A COH permit expires after 12 months (or other time frame if specified at the time of approval), if the actions approved have been completed within that time period.

Contact: For further information on the Certificate of Hardship process, please contact Janice Miller at 803-817-5129 or janice.miller@cityofrockhill.com.  Please check the City's calendar for meeting dates and application deadlines. 

Related Information:
Rock Hill Board of Historic Review
Certificate of Hardship Application

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