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Municipal Code

Chapter 18. General Zoning Ordinance

Sec. 18-143. Construction and Alteration

Construction and alteration of historic structures, sites or improvements within a historic district shall be in accordance with the following:

(1) Certificate of Appropriateness Required. After designation of a historic structure, site or district, no person shall alter, reconstruct, move or permit any alteration of all or any exterior portion of a historic structure or site or a property within a historic district unless the Historic Preservation Committee has recommended and the Plan Commission has approved such work, and the building services supervisor has issued a certificate of appropriateness. Application for review of construction or alteration shall be made on a form prepared by the Historic Preservation Committee and available at the building services supervisor's office. Such an application shall include accompanying plans and specification.

(a) For a building permit involving the exterior architectural appearance of any designated historic structure or site or a property within a historic district, the building services supervisor shall refer the application to the Historic Preservation Committee for a certificate of appropriateness within 10 days of receipt of an application.

(b) For alterations of designated historic properties not requiring a building permit, the building services supervisor shall issue the certificate of appropriateness based on guidelines approved by the Historic Preservation Committee. If the building services supervisor determines that a certificate of appropriateness cannot be issued based on guideline criteria, the applicant shall be referred to the Historic Preservation Committee.

(2) Application Review by Historic Preservation Committee. Upon receipt of an application for a certificate of appropriateness involving the exterior of a designated structure, site or property within a historic district, the Historic Preservation Committee shall review the application at its next regular meeting. The Historic Preservation Committee shall determine if the proposed work would not detrimentally change, destroy or adversely affect any feature of the improvement, would harmonize with the external appearance of the neighboring sites, and, if in a historic district, would conform to the established preservation plan objectives and design criteria. The Historic Preservation Committee shall approve or deny the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness within 30 days. The Historic Preservation Committee may attach certain conditions to its approval. The building services supervisor shall issue a certificate of appropriateness after approval.

(3) Denial of Application. If an application for a certificate of appropriateness is denied, the Historic Preservation Committee shall cooperate and work together with the applicant in an attempt to obtain approval within the guidelines of this Article.

(4) Criteria for Existing Structures and Sites. Criteria for construction or alteration of existing structures shall be as follows:

(a) The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Historic Rehabilitation, as revised, shall apply to reconstruction and alteration to existing structures. The current standards are as follows:

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 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.

(b) The Historic Preservation Committee may recommend to the Plan Commission additional guidelines or criteria which are in conformance with generally accepted historic preservation principles.

(5) New Construction. Criteria for new construction shall be as follows:

(a) The criteria for new construction in historic districts shall be:

1. The mass, volume, height, roof type, materials, size and setback of proposed structures should appear to be compatible with existing buildings in the immediate area.

2. The facade of new structures should maintain a compatible relationship with those of existing structures in terms of windowsill or header lines, proportion of window and door openings, horizontal or vertical emphasis of major building elements, and extent of architectural detail.

3. The building materials and colors used should complement and be compatible with other buildings in the immediate area.

4. The sizing, design and placement of signs should fit the building and the adjacent structures.

5. All landscaping and parking provisions should complement and be compatible with improvements in the immediate area.

(b) The Historic Preservation Committee may recommend to the Plan Commission additional guidelines or criteria which are in conformance with generally recognized historic preservation principles.