To consider the establishment of a historic district or landmark, the following procedure shall be followed:
   (a)   The initiation of a proposal for a historic district shall be made only by a property owner(s) in the proposed district area. Property owner(s) of the proposed district shall present to the AHPC a petition, expressing their desire to be declared a historic district, which shall specify the characteristics of the district that uniquely define it as historic. The boundaries of the proposed district shall be specified. The petition shall be signed by not less than fifty-one percent (51%) of the owners of the properties to be included in the district and shall include verification of such requirements with reference to the Ashtabula County Auditor's real property records. For purposes of this Section, an owner is defined as the person or entity holding title to one or more parcels of land within the proposed district, and each owner shall have one "vote" regardless of how many parcels within the proposed district are owned by that person or entity.
   (b)   The initiation of a proposal for a landmark shall be made only by the landmark property owner(s). Said property owner(s) shall submit the proposal for landmark status to the AHPC, and such proposal shall specify the characteristics of the property that uniquely define it as historic.
   (c)   The AHPC shall consider the proposal in terms of the criteria provided in Section 1187.03. After review, the AHPC shall forward the proposal with its recommendation along with the owners' written comments to the City Council.
   (d)   Upon receipt of the AHPC's recommendation, the City Council shall cause an appropriate ordinance to be prepared stating the reason for the designation of a landmark or the establishment of a historic district. A public hearing shall be scheduled on the proposed legislation. Notice of the public hearing shall be given by Council in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the City. Said notice shall be published at least ten (10) days before the date of the required hearing. The published notice shall include the time and place of the public hearing, a summary of the proposal and a statement that opportunity to be heard will be afforded to any person interested. If the proposal involves an historic district often (10) or less parcels of land, as listed on the tax duplicate, at least ten (10) days before the day of the public hearing written notice of the hearing shall be mailed by the Clerk of Council to all owners of property located within 300 feet of the proposed district, directed to the addresses of such owners appearing on the County Auditor's current tax list. The notice shall contain the same information as required of notices published in newspapers as specified above.
   (e)   Council shall give due consideration to the findings and recommendations of the AHPC and to the public hearing comments and shall make a final determination. City Council may:
      (1)   Approve the proposal as requested and designate the landmark or district as a historic property. Approval shall require the vote of art least five (5) Councilors if a proposal previously has been denied by the AHPC.
      (2)   Deny the proposal.
   (f)   After a decision by City Council, the Clerk of Council shall notify all persons known to have a legal or equitable interest in said property. The Division of Planning & Community Development (hereafter "PCD") and the Chairperson of the AHPC shall also be notified.
   (g)   The City Manager or PCD shall notify any appropriate county, State or Federal offices after a designation is approved. The City Solicitor shall cause to be recorded in the office of the Ashtabula County Recorder a certified copy of each ordinance designating a preservation district or landmark.
   (h)   No legislation under this section shall be rendered invalid by any failure or alleged failure to provide a prescribed notice by mail or otherwise by person.
   (I)   Designation of a historic district or landmark shall be considered a district overlay with the regulations of the underlying zoning district remaining in effect for any property designated as a landmark or included in a historic district.
   (j)   Following the designation of the landmark property, the AHPC may place or cause to be placed on such landmark an official City plaque, indicating that such property or part thereof has been designated a landmark in  the  City. In case of designation  of a district, the AHPC may place or cause to be placed official City plaques at appropriate location(s) near all entranceways to the new district. The design and location of such plaques shall be within the sound discretion of the AHPC, subject to approval  by  a majority  of Council. Said plaques shall be and remain the property of the City. 
      (Ord.  2019-91.  Passed 8-5-19.)