Application Review Process

Before applying for a Moratz Facade Grant, please read through the process description below.

  1. All grant requests must have a Certificate of Compliance approved through the established code procedures. For projects qualifying an expedited Certificate of Compliance, the applicant must submit applications for the expedited Certificate of Compliance and for the grant to the Planning Department at least 3 weeks prior to the next regularly scheduled Uptown Design Review Commission meeting. For projects requiring a non-expedited Certificate of Compliance, the applicants must submit both applications to the Town Clerk by the published deadline to permit time for the publication of notice.
  2. If there is any question as to the structural soundness of the property or as to the soundness of all major building systems (electric, HVAC, fire protection, and plumbing), Town staff may require an inspection of the site by a licensed architect or structural engineer.
  3. Town staff will review the applications with the applicant and will then forward the application with a recommendation regarding the Certificate of Compliance and grant to members of the Uptown Design Review Commission before the Commission’s next regularly scheduled meeting.
  4. The Uptown Design Review Commission will review the application at its next regularly scheduled meeting.  The commissioners will attempt to act upon the grant request at this meeting; however, the Commission may request additional information from the applicant or delay final action on the grant request for other reasons.  The commission will not approve a specific grant amount until it has seen at least two estimates from qualified contractors unless the applicant can demonstrate that finding a second estimate was not possible.  Grant funding will be based on the lowest reasonable estimate from a qualified contractor.  The applicant may use a higher estimate; however, the grant award will not cover the additional expense.
  5. After the Commission approves the application, all change orders must be approved by the Uptown Design Review Commission chairperson in writing.  If the applicant at any time deviates from the requirements set out by the commission and fails to obtain a valid approval for such deviations, the grant may no longer be available.  If, during the course of the project, unforeseen difficulties increase the cost of the project, the applicant may seek expedited review of a request for additional funds as long as the applicant has not already received the maximum grant amount available.  The design review commission chairperson and a Town staff representative will conduct the expedited review. 
  6. The applicant may not serve as his or her own contractor except in those instances where the applicant is an owner or partner in a company regularly doing business as a building contractor and in the opinion of the Uptown Design Review Commission has the capacity and skill to complete the proposed improvements.
  7. Necessary building permits must be obtained before work begins.  Questions regarding building permits should be directed to the Town of Normal Building Inspections Department.
  8. Prior to the release of any grant funds, the applicant must submit to the Town lien waivers and a project completion report, including copies of all bills, receipts, and cancelled checks associated with the project, and proof of the payment of prevailing wages.  In addition, such report shall include evidence that such project for which the grant was awarded is 100% complete. Town staff shall make a final on-site inspection of such completed project prior to the release of any grant funds.  
  9. The Uptown Design Review Commission may consider multiple grant requests pertaining to one site provided that the specific projects are sufficiently distinct and separate.  However, only two grants may be given to one building in one year.
  10. The Commission may reject any and all applications, request reapplications, waive and formality or technically in the applications, or to extend any of the time limits, such as shall best serve the best interests of the Town. The Commission may award a grant in any manner in which it determines will best service the interests of the Town.
  11. Recipients of any façade grant funds must agree to observe all applicable federal, state, and local laws pertaining to the use of grant funds.
  12. Projects must be completed in accordance with the procedures set forth in this document within one year from the date of the Uptown Design Review Commission meeting in which the grant was awarded, or grant approval will automatically be revoked.  The Commission reserves the right to allow a reasonable extension of time upon receiving a written request from the applicant to do so.
  13. The Uptown Design Review Commission reserves the right to prioritize the applications on the basis of the location of the project, the extent of the work, the level of private funding and the relative impact of the proposed improvements on the area.  In addition, the Commission reserves the right to reject any applications regardless of the availability of funds or compliance with the downtown design ordinance.

The Moratz Facade Grant application can be found here.

For projects qualifying for expedited approval of the Certificate of Compliance, submit completed applications to:

Planning Department

1 Uptown Circle

Normal, IL. 61761


For projects that do not qualify for expedited approval, submit completed applications to:

Town Clerk

11 Uptown Circle

Normal, IL  61761

(309) 454-9508


Address all questions to Tessa Ferraro, Associate Planner, at (309) 454-9642 or via email at