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(a) A certificate of appropriateness (hereafter "COA”) is required for exterior alterations or additions to the exterior of any building or structure designated as an historic landmark or located within an historic district, for the construction of a new building or structure within an historic district, or for the demolition of an existing building or structure designated as an historic landmark or located within an historic district.
(b) Zoning permit applications for changes within designated historic districts or to historic landmarks shall be deemed to be applications for certificates of appropriateness. The PCD shall forward these applications to the AHPC chairperson.
(c) Application procedures.
(1) Informal review: Applicants are encouraged to read the guidelines to become familiar with design review for historic buildings and structures. Applicants are encouraged to discuss a project and certificate of appropriateness with the AHPC prior to submitting an application. The AHPC may provide a list of resources which may guide an applicant in preparing a formal submission. Applicants may request an informal review with the AHPC prior to a formal submission.
(2) Submission requirements: The applicant shall submit an application for a COA along with supporting documents as specified herein to the City Division of Planning and Community Development (PCD). The supporting documents shall include drawings, photographs, specifications, and material samples. The submission must accurately represent the proposed alterations, additions and/or new construction. PCD staff will forward copies to each of the AHPC members, for consideration at the next regular meeting of the AHPC.
(d) The AHPC shall make a determination on a COA within sixty (60) days of the filing of the application unless the applicant approves an extension of time. The AHPC may table the application for additional information or clarification for a period not to exceed an additional thirty (30) days. If the AHPC fails to render its decision within the specified time period the COA shall be deemed approved.
(e) In making such a determination the AHPC shall refer to the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and to guidelines adopted by the AHPC.
(f) The AHPC shall approve or approve with conditions the COA upon finding that:
(1) The proposal conforms to the guidelines; or
(2) There is no feasible and prudent alternative alteration or change which would conform to the guidelines, and adhering to the guidelines would deny the owner any commercially viable use of the real property.
(g) If a COA is approved, permits relative to the proposed changes may be issued immediately following normal zoning and building department review procedures.
(h) If a COA is denied, the City shall not issue any permits that would allow modifications for which the COA was denied. In cases where a COA has been disapproved the AHPC shall state the reasons for such disapproval in writing and transmit the written statement to the applicant together with any recommendation the AHPC may have made for appropriate changes. The AHPC shall make every effort to work with the applicant for a period not to exceed sixty (60) days after a disapproval to develop a proposal that will be compatible with the terms of this chapter so as to permit a COA to be issued.
(I) In the case of a denial of a COA for demolition:
(1) The AHPC and applicant shall undertake meaningful and continuing discussion to find a means of preserving the property.
(2) If the applicant fails to meet with the AHPC in good faith and at specified times, then denial of the application will stand.
(3) After meeting with the applicant, if the AHPC determines that denial would create a substantial hardship to the applicant, it shall propose a compromise which relieves the hardship, if it exists.
(4) If, after meeting with the applicant, the AHPC has not reached a compromise with the applicant that relieves substantial hardship, then the applicant may appeal the decision, within thirty (30) days of the said meeting, directly to the City Council. Council may affirm, modify or reverse the AHPC's decision.
(5) In the specific cases of demolition, the AHPC may delay a decision for up to 180 days upon finding that a structure is of such importance that alternatives to demolition should be actively pursued by both the AHPC and the applicant. Alternate steps to be investigated include, but are not limited to:
A. Consultation with civic groups, public agencies and interested citizens;
B. Recommendations for acquisition of the property by public or private bodies;
C. Exploration of the possibility of moving one or more structures or other features.
(j) Notice of the decision of the AHPC regarding any application shall be mailed by the AHPC Secretary to the applicant by ordinary U.S. Mail within ten (10) days after the decision date.
(k) At any time prior to completion of work under a COA an applicant may apply for an amendment to the certificate. An applicant must apply for an amendment if the design for which the certificate was issued is altered.
(l) The COA shall be valid for a period of one (1) year from the date of approval by the AHPC and all work shall be substantially completed within one (1) year from the date of approval. The AHPC shall grant an extension of time for up to an additional 180 days for good cause shown.
(m) Nothing in this ordinance or any rules adopted pursuant to this ordinance shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance or repair of any building or structure provided such work requires no alteration to exterior architectural features.
(Ord. 2019-91. Passed 8-5-19.)