9-10-3: Historic Preservation Commission
9-10-4: Landmark Designation Applications
9-10-5: Historic District Designation
9-10-6: Certificate Of Appropriateness
9-10-7: Certificate Of Economic Hardship
9-10-8: Natural Destruction Or Demolition
9-10-9: Violation; Penalty
The purpose of this chapter is to promote the protection, enhancement, perpetuation, and use of improvements of special character or historical interest or value in the interest of the health, prosperity, safety, and welfare of the people of the city by:
A. Providing a mechanism to identify and preserve the historic and architectural characteristics of Charleston which represent elements of the city's cultural, social, economic, political and architectural history.
B. Promoting civic pride in the beauty and noble accomplishments of the past as represented in Charleston's landmarks and historic districts.
C. Stabilizing and improving the economic vitality and value of Charleston's landmarks and historic areas.
D. Protecting and enhancing the attractiveness of the city to house buyers, visitors and shoppers and thereby supporting business, commerce, industry, and providing economic benefit to the city.
E. Fostering and encouraging preservation, restoration of structures, areas, and neighborhoods and thereby preventing future urban blight. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
Unless specifically defined in this section, words or phrases in this chapter shall be interpreted giving them the same meanings as they have in common usage and so as to give this chapter its most reasonable application.
ADDITION: Any act or process which changes one or more of the "exterior architectural features" of a structure designated for preservation by adding to, joining with or increasing the size or capacity of the structure.
ALTERATION: Any act or process that changes one or more of the exterior architectural features of a structure, including, but not limited to, the erection, construction, reconstruction, or removal of any structure.
AREA: A specific geographic division of the city of Charleston.
BUILDING: Any structure created for the support, shelter or enclosure of persons, animals or property of any kind and which is permanently affixed to the land.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS: A certificate from the historic preservation commission authorizing plans for alterations, construction, removal or demolition of a landmark or site within a designated historic district.
COMMISSION: Charleston historic preservation commission.
COMMISSIONERS: Voting members of the Charleston historic preservation commission.
CONSTRUCTION: The act of adding an addition to an existing structure or the erection of a new principal or accessory structure on a lot or property.
COUNCIL: The city council of the city of Charleston.
DEMOLITION: Any act or process that destroys in part or in whole a landmark or site within a historic district.
DESIGN GUIDELINE: A standard of appropriate activity that will preserve the historic and architectural character of a structure or area.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: The chairman, vice chairman and secretary of the Charleston historic preservation commission.
EXTERIOR ARCHITECTURAL APPEARANCE: The architectural and general composition of the exterior of a structure, including, but not limited to, the kind and the texture of the building material, and the type, design and character of all windows, doors, light fixtures, signs, and appurtenant elements.
HISTORIC DISTRICT: Any area designated as a historic district by ordinance of the city council and which may contain, within definable geographic boundaries, one or more landmarks and which may have within its boundaries other properties or structures that, while not of such historic and/or architectural significance to be designated as landmarks, nevertheless contribute to the overall visual characteristics of the landmark or landmarks located within the historic district.
LANDMARK: Any building, structure or site which has been designated as a landmark by ordinance of the city council, pursuant to procedures prescribed herein, that is worthy of rehabilitation, restoration, and preservation because of its historic and/or architectural significance to the city of Charleston.
OWNER OF RECORD: The person, corporation, or other legal entity listed as owner on the records of the county recorder of deeds.
REHABILITATION: The process of returning a property to a state of utility, through repair or alteration, which makes possible an efficient contemporary use while preserving those portions and features of the property which are significant to its historic, architectural and cultural values.
REMOVAL: Any relocation of a structure on its site or to another site.
REPAIR: Any change that does not require a building permit that is not construction, relocation or alteration.
STRUCTURAL CHANGE: Any change or repair in the supporting members of a building, structure, roof or exterior walls which would alter the building in height, width or bulk.
STRUCTURE: Anything constructed or erected, the use of which requires permanent or temporary location on or in the ground, including, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, buildings, fences, gazebos, advertising signs, billboards, backstops for tennis courts, radio and television antennas, including supporting towers, swimming pools, satellite dishes, solar panels and wind generation. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
9-10-3: HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION:
A. Composition; Appointment: The Charleston historic preservation commission shall consist of seven (7) voting members, residents of the city, appointed by the mayor and approved by the city council. Nonvoting, ex officio members may be appointed to the commission by the mayor with the recommendation of the commission chairman. Ex officio members may serve any number of one year terms and need not be residents of the city.
B. Qualifications: The members shall be appointed on the basis of expertise, experience or interest in the area of architectural history, building construction or engineering, finance, historical and architectural preservation, neighborhood associations, or real estate. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
C. Terms Of Office; Vacancies; Compensation: Members of the commission shall be appointed for terms of three (3) years. Of those members first taking office, two (2) shall be appointed for one year, three (3) for two (2) years, and two (2) for three (3) years. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term only, and members shall serve without compensation. (Ord. 12-O-17, 5-1-2012)
D. Officers: Officers shall consist of a chairman, vice chairman, and a secretary, elected by the preservation commission, who shall serve a term of one year and shall be eligible for reelection, but no member shall serve in the same capacity for more than two (2) consecutive years. The chairman shall preside over meetings. In the absence of the chairman, the vice chairman shall perform the duties of the chairman. If both are absent, a temporary chairman shall be elected by those present. The secretary shall take minutes of each preservation commission meeting, and shall prepare and submit to the city council a complete record of the proceedings before the preservation commission on any matter requiring council consideration. In addition, the secretary shall have the following duties: (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004; amd. Ord. 06-O-49, 11-7-2006)
1. Be responsible for publication and distribution of copies of the minutes, reports, and decisions of the preservation commission to the members of the preservation commission.
2. Give notice as provided herein or by law for all public hearings conducted by the preservation commission.
E. Meetings And Procedures:
1. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the members. All decisions or actions of the historic preservation commission shall be made by a majority vote of those members present and voting at any meeting where a quorum exists.
2. Meetings shall be held the third week of the month or at regularly scheduled times to be established by resolution of the commission at the beginning of each calendar year or at any time upon the call of the chairman. There shall be a minimum of four (4) meetings per year.
3. No member of the historic preservation commission shall vote on any matter that may materially or apparently affect the property, income or business interest of that member. No action shall be taken by the commission that could in any manner deprive or restrict the owner of property in its use, modification, maintenance, disposition, or demolition until such owner shall first have had the opportunity to be heard at public meeting of the preservation commission, as provided herein.
4. The chairman, and in his absence the acting chairman, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. All meetings of the preservation commission shall be open to the public.
5. The preservation commission shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote, indicating such fact, and shall keep records of its examinations and other official actions, all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the preservation commission and shall be a public record.
F. Powers And Duties:
1. To adopt its own procedural regulations.
2. To conduct an ongoing survey to identify historically and architecturally significant properties, structures and areas.
3. To investigate and recommend to the city council the adoption of ordinances designating properties or structures having special historic, community, or architectural value as landmarks.
4. To investigate and recommend to the city council the adoption of ordinances designating properties or structures having special historic, community or architectural value as historic districts.
5. To keep a register of all properties and structures that have been designated as landmarks or historic districts, including all information required for each designation.
6. To determine an appropriate system of markers and make recommendations for the design and implementation of specific markings of the streets and routes leading from one landmark or historic district to another.
7. To advise owners of landmarks and property or structures within historic districts on physical and financial aspects of preservation, renovation, rehabilitation, and reuse, and on procedures for inclusion on the State or National Register of Historic Places.
8. To inform and educate the citizens of Charleston concerning the historic and architectural heritage of the city by publishing appropriate maps, newsletters, brochures, and pamphlets, and/or by holding programs and seminars.
9. To hold public hearings and to review applications for construction, alteration, removal, or demolition affecting properties for which preliminary determinations have been approved for historic designation or designated landmarks or structures or historic districts and issue or deny certificates of appropriateness for such actions. Applicants shall be required to submit plans, drawings, elevations, specifications, and other information as may be necessary to make decisions.
10. To develop and recommend to the council specific guidelines for the alteration, demolition, construction or removal of landmarks or property and structures within historic districts.
11. To review proposed zoning amendments, applications for conditional use permits or variances that affect properties for which a preliminary determination of historic significance has been made or designated landmarks and historic districts. Applications should be forwarded by the city to the commission upon receipt. Such review shall be made prior to the date of the hearing by the board of zoning appeals and planning. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
12. To administer on behalf of the city, upon request, any property, or full or partial interest in real property, including a "conservation right" as that term is used in 765 Illinois Compiled Statutes 120/1 et seq., which the city may have or accept as gifts or otherwise. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004; amd. 2006 Code)
13. To accept and administer on behalf of the city, upon request, such gifts, grants and money as may be appropriate for the purpose of this chapter.
14. To call upon available city staff members as well as other experts for technical advice.
15. To testify before all boards or commissions, including the board of zoning appeals and planning, on any matter affecting historically and architecturally significant property and landmarks. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
16. To periodically review the Charleston unified development code and to recommend to the board of zoning appeals and planning and the city council any amendments appropriate for the protection and continued use of landmarks or property and structures within historic districts. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004; amd. 2006 Code)
G. Surveys And Research: The historic preservation commission shall undertake an ongoing, comprehensive survey and research effort in the city to identify neighborhoods, areas, sites, structures, and objects that may have historic, community, architectural, or aesthetic importance, interest or value. As part of the survey, the historic preservation commission shall review and evaluate any prior surveys and studies by any unit of government or private organization and compile appropriate descriptions, facts, and photographs. The historic preservation commission shall identify potential landmarks and adopt procedures to nominate them in groups based upon the following criteria:
1. The potential landmarks in one identifiable neighborhood or defined geographical area of the city.
2. The potential landmarks associated with a particular person, event, or historical period.
3. The potential landmarks of a particular architectural style or school, or of a particular architect, engineer, builder, designer or craftsman.
4. Such other criteria as may be adopted by the preservation commission to assure systematic survey and nomination of all potential landmarks within the city. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
9-10-4: LANDMARK DESIGNATION APPLICATIONS:
A. Minimum Requirements: Any person, group of persons or association, including, but not limited to, the Charleston historic preservation commission, may apply to the Charleston historic preservation commission for the designation of a landmark. Nominations shall be made to the historic preservation commission on a form provided by the commission and available at city hall. A filing fee may be required. Persons wishing guidance or advice prior to completing an application may contact the chair of the historic preservation commission. At a minimum, the application for landmark designation shall include the following:
1. The name and address of the property owner.
2. The legal description and common street address of the property.
3. A written statement describing the property and setting forth reasons in support of the proposed designation. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
4. Documentation that the property owner has been notified of the application for designation. (Ord. 06-O-48, 11-7-2006)
5. A list of significant exterior architectural features in the case of private property, or interior and exterior features in the case of public property, that should be protected.
6. Photographs of the landmark. The photos shall include front, side, and rear elevations and photos showing context (building and surroundings, photos of the site).
B. Criteria: The commission shall, upon investigation as it deems necessary, make a preliminary determination as to whether a property, structure, or area possesses the integrity of design, workmanship, materials, location, setting and feeling and meets one or more of the following criteria:
1. Significant value as part of the historic, heritage, or cultural characteristics of the community, county, state or nation.
2. Its identification with a person or persons who significantly contributed to the development of the community, county, state or country.
3. Representative of the distinguishing characteristics of architecture inherently valuable for the study of a period, type, method of construction or use of indigenous materials.
4. Notable work of a master builder, designer, architect or artist whose individual work has influenced the development of the community, county, state or country.
5. Its unique location or singular physical characteristics that make it an established or familiar visual feature.
6. Its character as a particularly fine or unique example of a utilitarian structure, including, but not limited to, farmhouses, gas stations, or other commercial structures, with a high level of integrity or architectural significance.
7. Area that has yielded or may be likely to yield information important in history or prehistory.
C. Landmark Designation Procedure:
1. Preliminary Determination: The commission or the executive committee of the commission shall make a preliminary determination as to whether a property, structure, or area meets one or more of the foregoing criteria within fifteen (15) days of filing of a nomination with the commission. If the preliminary determination concludes that the nomination does not merit further consideration, the commission will decline the nomination. If the preliminary determination concludes that the nomination does merit further consideration, the city planner, property owner, and the submitter will be notified. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
a. The commission shall schedule a public hearing within thirty (30) days after the filing of an application at city hall.
b. Notice of date, time, place and purpose of the public hearing shall be sent by mail to owner(s) of record and to the nominator(s) as well as to the adjoining property owners, not less than fifteen (15) nor more than thirty (30) days prior to the date of the hearing. A public hearing notice also shall be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the city. The notice shall state the location of the property and a statement summarizing how the proposed landmark meets the criteria set forth in landmark designation criteria. The nominator shall bear the cost of legal notice publication in the local newspaper. City staff shall prepare and deliver said notice to local newspaper for publication; nominator shall bear cost of publication.
c. During the public hearing, the commission shall review and evaluate the application according to the criteria established by ordinance. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004; amd. Ord. 06-O-48, 11-7-2006)
3. Certificate Of Appropriateness: A certificate of appropriateness shall be required for alteration, construction, removal or demolition of properties for which an application for landmark designation has been approved.
4. Decision: A decision shall be made at the closing of the public hearing. If the commission decides that the landmark should be designated, it shall do so by a resolution passed by a majority of the commission. The owner(s) of record shall be notified promptly by letter of the commission's decision. Following the public hearing, the commission shall prepare the commission's evaluation, recommendation, and all available information for submission to the city council within ten (10) days. A simple majority vote by the city council is necessary for approval of a landmark designation. If the city council approves the application for a designation, a notice will be sent to the property owner, the planning department, the building official, and the office of the city clerk, and recorded with the county recorder of deeds. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
9-10-5: HISTORIC DISTRICT DESIGNATION:
A. Criteria: The following criteria shall be utilized by the Charleston historic commission in determining the designation of historic districts:
1. The historic district contains one or more landmarks along with such other buildings, places or areas within its definable geographic boundaries, which, while not of such historic significance to be designated as landmarks, nevertheless contribute to the overall visual characteristics of the landmark or landmarks located in such district; and/or
2. A significant number of structures meeting any of the standards under landmark designation criteria; and/or
3. Establishing a sense of time and place unique to the city; and/or
4. Exemplifying or reflecting the cultural, social, economic, political or architectural history of the nation, the state or the city.
B. Application: Any person, group of persons or association, including, but not limited to, the Charleston historic preservation commission, may apply to the Charleston historic preservation commission for the designation of a historic district. Nominations shall be made to the historic preservation commission on a form provided by the commission and made available at city hall. A filing fee may be required. Persons wishing guidance or advice prior to completing an application may contact the chair of the historic preservation commission. At a minimum, the application for historic district designation shall include the following:
1. The names and addresses of the properties and property owners.
2. A map delineating the boundaries of the area to be designated.
3. A written statement describing the area and properties within the historic district and setting forth reasons in support of the proposed designation.
4. A list and photographs of significant exterior architectural features of all contributing properties in the district.
5. Documentation that property owners have been notified of the application.
6. Legal description of the proposed district.
C. Historic District Designation Procedure:
1. Preliminary Determination: A preliminary determination by the commission or its executive committee as to whether a property, structure, or area meets one or more of the foregoing criteria shall be made within thirty (30) days of filing of a nomination with the commission. If the preliminary determination concludes that the nomination does not merit further consideration, the submitter of the nomination will be notified of the reason(s) for denial.
a. The commission shall schedule a public hearing to be held within thirty (30) days after preliminary approval of the application. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
b. Notice of date, time, place and purpose of the public hearing shall be sent by mail to owner(s) of record and to the nominators, as well as to the adjoining (those properties abutting the proposed district) property owners, not less than fifteen (15) nor more than thirty (30) days prior to the date of the hearing. A notice of public hearing also shall be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the city. The notice shall state the location of the property and summarize how the proposed district meets the criteria set forth in historic district criteria. City staff shall prepare and deliver notice to local newspaper. The nominator shall bear the cost of legal notice publication in local newspaper. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004; amd. Ord. 06-O-48, 11-7-2006)
c. During the public hearing, the commission shall review and evaluate the application according to the criteria established by ordinance. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
3. Decision: A decision shall be made at the closing of the public hearing. Following the public hearing, the commission shall prepare its evaluation, recommendation and all available information for submission to the city council within ten (10) days. If the commission decides that the proposed historic district should be so designated, it shall do so by resolution passed by a majority of the commission. The owner(s) of record shall be notified promptly by letter of the commission's decision. A simple majority vote by the city council is necessary for approval of a historic district designation. If the city council approves the application for such a designation, a notice will be sent to the property owner, nominators, the planning department, the building official, and the office of the city clerk, and recorded with the county recorder of deeds, indicating the area has been designated as such and that buildings located within the boundaries of the historic district shall be subject to issuance of certificates of appropriateness. If the city council denies the petition, the application may be resubmitted in accordance with the application process. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004; amd. Ord. 06-O-48, 11-7-2006)
9-10-6: CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS:
A. Scope: Buildings designated as historic landmarks or included within the boundaries of a designated historic district or properties for which a preliminary determination of eligibility has been made shall be subject to issuance of certificates of appropriateness.
B. Certificate Required: A certificate of appropriateness issued by the commission shall be required before a building permit, moving permit, or demolition permit is issued for any designated historic landmark or any building, structure or site or part thereof in the historic district. A certificate of appropriateness is required if the building, structure or site will be altered, extended, or repaired in such a manner as to produce a major change in the exterior appearance of such building or structure. Such major changes include, but are not limited to:
1. Major changes by addition, alteration, maintenance, reconstruction, rehabilitation, renovation or repair.
2. Any new construction and demolition in whole or in part requiring a permit from the city.
3. Moving a building.
4. Any construction, alteration, demolition, or removal affecting a significant exterior architectural feature as specified in the ordinance designating the landmark or historic district.
C. Exemptions From Certificate:
1. An exception to the certificate of appropriateness shall be made if the applicant shows to the city planner that a failure to grant the permit will cause an imminent threat to life, health or property.
2. A certificate of appropriateness shall not be required for paint, landscaping, fencing, or driveways; provided, that said landscaping, fencing or driveway work or repair does not alter the location of said landscaping, fencing or driveways, and does not result in an alteration of the footprint of the structure, landscape area or fence or driveway location. In the event there is an effect on the landscape area or fence or driveway, then the certificate of appropriateness is at the discretion of the city planner in consultation with the chairman of the commission.
D. Application: Applications for a certificate of appropriateness shall be made available at city hall. Such applications shall be completed and submitted to city hall and shall be forwarded to the Charleston historic preservation commission. Every application affecting a designated historic landmark or any building, structure or site or part thereof in a historic district for a demolition permit, a building permit, or a moving permit, including plans and specifications, shall be forwarded by the planning department to the historic preservation commission within seven (7) days following receipt of the application by city hall. The application for issuance of a certificate of appropriateness must include:
1. Street address of property involved.
2. Legal description of the property involved or plat designation (such as is available from the assessor's office or from a tax bill).
3. Brief description of the present improvements situated on the property.
4. A detailed description of the construction, alteration, demolition or use proposed, together with any architect drawings or sketches if those services have been utilized by the applicant, and if not, a sufficient description of the construction, alteration, demolition, and use to enable the commission to determine what final appearance and use of the real estate will be.
5. Owner's name.
6. Developer's name, if different from owner. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
7. Name of architect/engineer, if used.
E. Standards: In making a determination whether to approve or deny an application for a certificate of appropriateness, the Charleston historic preservation commission shall be guided by the secretary of the interior's "Standards For Rehabilitation".
The standards are to be applied to specific rehabilitation projects in a reasonable manner, taking into consideration economic and technical feasibility. Said standards being:
1. A property shall be used for its historic purpose or be placed in a new use that requires minimal change to the defining characteristics of the building and its site and environment.
2. The historic character of a property shall be retained and preserved. The removal of historic materials or alteration of features and spaces that characterize a property shall be avoided.
3. Each property shall be recognized as a physical record of its time, place, and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or architectural elements from other buildings, shall not be undertaken.
4. Most properties change over time; those changes that have acquired historic significance in their own right shall be retained and preserved.
5. Distinctive features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a property shall be preserved.
6. Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature shall match the old in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities and, where possible, materials. Replacement of missing features shall be substantiated by documentary, physical, or pictorial evidence.
7. Chemical or physical treatments, such as sandblasting, that cause damage to historic materials shall not be used. The surface cleaning of the structures, if appropriate, shall be undertaken using the gentlest means possible.
8. Significant archaeological resources affected by a project shall be protected and preserved. If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures shall be undertaken.
9. New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment.
10. New additions and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken in such a manner that, if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired. (Ord. 06-O-48, 11-7-2006)
F. Design Guidelines: Design guidelines for applying the criteria for review of certificates of appropriateness shall, at a minimum, consider the following architectural criteria:
1. Height: The height of any proposed alteration or construction should be compatible with the style and character of the landmark or of contributing structures within a designated district and with surrounding structures in a historic district.
2. Proportions Of Windows And Doors: The proportions and relationships between doors and windows should be compatible with the architectural style and character of the landmark or of contributing structures within a designated district.
3. Relationship Of Building Masses And Spaces: The relationship of a structure within a historic district to the open space between it and adjoining structures should be compatible.
4. Roof Shape: The design of the roof, fascia, and cornice should be compatible with the architectural style and character of the landmark or of contributing structures within a designated district.
5. Scale: The scale of the structure after alteration, construction, or partial demolition should be compatible with its architectural style and character and with surrounding structures in a historic district.
6. Directional Expression: Facades in historic districts should blend with other structures with regard to directional expression. Structures in a historic district should be compatible with the dominant horizontal or vertical expression of surrounding structures. The directional expression of a landmark after alteration, construction, or partial demolition should be compatible with its original architectural style and character.
7. Architectural Details: Architectural details, including types of materials, colors, and textures, should be treated so as to make the landmark compatible with its original architectural style and character of a landmark or of contributing structures within a designated district.
8. New Structures: New structures in a historic district shall be compatible with the architectural styles and design in said district. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
G. Issuance Of A Certificate Of Appropriateness: Upon approval of the application, the commission shall direct the recording secretary to issue the signed certificate of appropriateness to the applicant with copies forwarded to the building official. A certificate of appropriateness shall be invalid if changes in the plans reviewed by the commission are necessary in obtaining a building permit or if the building permit issued for the same work becomes invalid. The certificate of appropriateness remains valid for the same period of validity as the building permit. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004; amd. Ord. 06-O-48, 11-7-2006)
H. Appeals: In the event of denial of an application for a certificate of appropriateness, the applicant may amend the application to accommodate commission objections or request the application be forwarded to the city council. Negative recommendations forwarded to city council require a four-fifths (4/5) majority vote by council to overrule the commission. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
9-10-7: CERTIFICATE OF ECONOMIC HARDSHIP:
A. Scope: Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this chapter to the contrary, the commission may issue a certificate of economic hardship to allow the performance of work for which a certificate of appropriateness has been denied. Applicants claiming economic hardship shall be required to seek rehabilitation assistance. The eligibility for and availability of financial aid shall be considered by the commission in making its decision.
B. Required Information: An applicant for a certificate of economic hardship may submit any or all of the following information in order to assist the commission in making its determination on the application:
1. The amount paid for the property, the date of purchase and the party from whom purchased (including a description of the relationship, if any, between the owner and the person from whom the property was purchased).
2. The assessed value of the land and improvements thereon according to the two (2) most recent assessments.
3. Real estate taxes for the previous two (2) years.
4. Remaining balance on mortgage, if any, and annual debt service, if any, for the previous two (2) years.
5. All appraisals obtained within the previous two (2) years by the owner or applicant in connection with purchase, financing or ownership of the property.
6. Any listing of the property for sale or rent, price asked and offers received, if any.
7. Any consideration by the owner as to profitable adaptive uses for the property.
8. If the property is income producing, the annual gross income from the property for the previous two (2) years, itemized operating and maintenance expenses for the previous two (2) years, and annual cash flow before and after debt service, if any, during the same period; form of ownership or operation of the property, whether sole proprietorship, for profit or not for profit corporation, limited partnership, joint venture or other.
9. Any other information, including income tax bracket of the owner, applicant or principal investors in the property, reasonably necessary for a determination as to whether the property can be reasonably used or yield a reasonable return to present or future owners.
C. Delay Of Application: If the commission finds that without approval of the proposed work, the property owner cannot obtain a reasonable economic return therefrom, then the application shall be delayed for a period not to exceed three (3) months. During this period of delay, the commission shall investigate plans and make recommendations to the city council to allow for reasonably beneficial use or a reasonable economic return, or to otherwise preserve the subject property. Such plans and recommendations may include, but are not limited to: a relaxation of the provisions of this chapter, a reduction in real property taxes, financial assistance, building code modifications and/or changes in zoning regulations.
D. Issuance Or Denial Of Certificate: If, by the end of the three (3) month period, the commission has found that without approval of the proposed work, the property cannot be put to a reasonable beneficial use, or the owner cannot obtain a reasonable economic return therefrom, then the commission shall issue a certificate of economic hardship approving the proposed work. If the commission finds otherwise, it shall deny the application for a certificate of economic hardship.
E. Appeals: When a certificate of economic hardship is approved or denied for either a landmark or a structure within a historic district, the applicant or any interested party may, within thirty (30) days, appeal the commission's decision to the city council. The council may receive comments on the contents of the record, but no new matter may be considered by the council. The council may affirm the decision or recommend changes by a majority vote of the council after due consideration of the facts contained in the record submitted to the council by the commission. A four-fifths (4/5) majority is required to overturn a negative recommendation of the commission. If the council decides that a certificate of economic hardship should be issued, the secretary shall notify the applicant and the building official within seven (7) days of the council's decision, and the building official then shall issue the permit within fifteen (15) days. If the council concurs with the commission's decision not to issue a certificate of economic hardship, the secretary shall notify the applicant and the building official within seven (7) days. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
9-10-8: NATURAL DESTRUCTION OR DEMOLITION:
In the case of partial or complete natural destruction or demolition of a site within a historic preservation district or of a landmark, the owner will be required to obtain a certificate of appropriateness from the commission prior to reconstruction. Although exact duplication of the previous structure may not be required, the exterior design of the property shall be in harmony with:
A. The exterior design of the structure prior to damage if the structure was partially damaged; and
B. The character of the historic preservation district. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)
9-10-9: VIOLATION; PENALTY:
Any person who undertakes or causes an alteration, construction, demolition, or removal of any designated landmark or property within a designated historic district without a certificate of appropriateness shall be guilty of a quasi-criminal offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00). Every day such violation shall continue to exist shall constitute a separate violation. The preservation commission may request that the city council institute an appropriate action or proceeding to enjoin, correct or abate any violation of this chapter. (Ord. 04-O-51, 10-19-2004)