How To Open A Business In Downtown Natchez

Step 5.Check on local design regulations for your business

In addition to the basic underlying “base zoning” addressed in Step 4, Downtown Natchez benefits from the historic “overlay zoning” that addresses design issues. Below are key points you will need to understand regarding the City’s local design regulations associated with the local historic zoning.

Downtown Natchez Historic Zoning

Natchez is proud of the wealth of historic architechtural heritage that is found in Downtown. The Historic Natchez Design Guidelines, adopted by the City in 1999, is a document that guides development and preservation in the Historic Districts of Natchez, which has seven (7) adopted local review historic districts.

All repair or construction work involving the exterior of the building must receive a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA Application). “In-kind” repairs using the same materials existing on the house can be approved administratively by the Planning Director, however any new construction, demolition, addition, or exterior alteration must be approved by the Natchez Preservation Commission. To view the City’s Preservation Ordinances, click here.

To view the map of the Historic District, click here. The colored lines indicated districts, while the thick black line indicates the extent of the local review district regulated by the Preservation Commission.

Locations – The map shown here illustrates the local historic district with a black line, (click on the image to enlarge for more detail.)

The subdistricts with colored lines within this area (and outside of it) are the individual National Register (NR) historic districts and there are no regulations for them with respect to actions impacting historic properties that are not federally funded or licensed. The only NR districts that are not part of the local historic district, which is regulated, are the Woodlawn (golden boundaries) and Holy Family (purple boundaries) NR districts.

Reviewable Actions – Visible alterations to an existing building, demolition or relocation of buildings, additions and new buildings, and signage – only when visible from a public right-of-way. Correct?

Administration – The City’s Historic Preservation Commission makes design review decisions and is staffed by the City Planning Department.

Design Standards – To review the detailed design standards, go to the City’s website at:

Natchez City Planning Department

The City Planning Department handles the administration of the city’s comprehensive plan. Their duties includes the following:

  • Administer contractor permits and electrical inspections through the Office of Inspections
  • Regulatory administrator for the Natchez Development Code, Preservation Ordinance, Sign Ordinance, Privilege (Business) Licenses, and commercial/industrial site plan review applications.
  • Manages development applications for exterior work within the Historic District.
  • Receive and process applications requiring public hearings before the Preservation Commission, Planning Commission, and in some cases the Mayor and Board of Alderman.

You can find a complete list of City Regulations & Applications on their webpage:

For Questions on How Your Location is Zoned:

  • Call planning at 601-445-7518
  • Come into the planning department on the second floor of city hall at 124 Pearl Street, Natchez, MS 39120
  • Use our online zoning map

James Johnston
Community Development Director
Phone: 601-445-7518
Fax: 601-445-6653

Frankie Legaux
Director of Planning and Zoning
Phone: 601-445-7518
Fax: 601-445-6653