Design Committee


Role of the Design Committee

The Design Committee was created to ensure that proposed structures conform to proper design standards and the general character of the area, see Downtown Overlay Map. It also reviews all exterior building plans for all land use categories and final plans for planned unit developments, fences, signs and landscaping.
The Design Committee may request detailed construction plans and related data pertinent to thorough review of any proposal before the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association. A letter of approval will be issued by the Design Committee to the owner after the project is approved.
The Design Committee gives prime consideration to the following criteria when reviewing projects:

  1. The historic and/ or architectural value of present structure

  2. The relationship of exterior architectural features of such structures to the rest of the structures of the surrounding area

  3. The general compatibility of exterior design, arrangement, texture and materials proposed to be used

  4. Any other factor, including aesthetics, which is deemed to be pertinent. 


The Design Committee makes decisions based strictly upon the Design Guidlines. To view the guidelines in their entirety, click the button below.


If you own a building in Downtown Tupelo, and wish to make any changes to the outside of your building(s), your plans must first be approved by the Design Committee (see below under "Facade Renovation" to read why this is necessary).  Click the buttons below to start this process.

If you wish to purchase a sign for your business, you must apply for a sign permit. Click the button below to apply for a sign permit.



Facade Renovation

With respect to the district, it is the duty of the Design Committee to make the following determinations:

  1. Appropriateness of altering or demolishing any building or structure within the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association. The Design Committee may require interior and exterior photographs, architectural measured drawings of the exterior, or other notations of architectural features to be used for historical documentation as a condition of any permission to demolish a building or structure.

  2. Appropriateness of the exterior architectural features including signs and other exterior fixtures of any new building and structures to be constructed within the Downtown.

  3. Appropriateness of exterior design of any new extension of any existing building or structure within the Downtown.

  4. Appropriateness of front yards, side yards, rear yards, off-street parking spaces, location of entrance drives into the property, sidewalks along public right-of-way, which might affect the character of any building or structure within the historic district.

  5. The general compatibility of exterior design, arrangement, texture and material of the building or other structure in question and the relation of such factors to similar features of buildings in the immediate surroundings.

The Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association does not consider interior arrangement or design, nor does it make any requirements except for the purpose of preventing extensions incongruous to the historic character of the surroundings. 

Appeal Process

It is the responsibility of the owner to provide submittal documentation as needed by the Main Street Design Committee, and to cooperate with the Committee in determining the design of a new project or rehabilitation within the Tupelo Central business overlay district. If the owner believes he or she has been aggrieved by a decision of the Main Street Design Committee, the owner may appeal the decision to the Tupelo Planning Committee for review. 



Sign Permit

You must apply for a sign permit and receive approval before purchasing.
Signs are a vital part of the downtown scene. A balance should be struck between the need to call attention to individual businesses and the need for a positive image of the entire district. Signs can complement or detract from the character of a building depending on their design, placement, quantity, size, shape, materials, color and condition. Historically significant signs should be retained if possible on buildings, even if the business is no longer in existence.
Signs shall comply with Tupelo’s sign ordinance except where stated otherwise.
The following guidelines apply to commercial and business uses in the Historic
District. For complete information about Tupelo’s Sign Regulations, reference the City of Tupelo Development Code.

a. For residential buildings converted to commercial uses, flat signs attached to the wall at the first floor or suspended from the fascia between porch columns are appropriate. Signs attached to the structure should not cover any architectural detail.
b. For residential buildings small projecting signs attached to the wall at the first floor or porch column are appropriate and should not be located higher than the top of the porch.
c. Freestanding signs should be no higher than six (6) feet.
d. Lighting of signs should be provided only by direct external lighting, such as flood lights or spot lights. External lighting sources should be shaded, shielded or directed so that the light intensity will not be objectionable to surrounding areas.
e. Must apply for sign permit with Department of Development Services



Downtown renovations met by the Design Guidelines

1. SWIRLZ.jpg
Downtown Tupelo Main Street.jpg
2. The Belfry.jpg
3. Kermit's Outlaw Kitchen.jpg